The most common question I’m asked when talking to job seekers is “How long should my resume be?” Unlike dressing for an interview, this question is a little more cut and dry. In today’s world of email and Applicant Tracking Systems, the new standard for industry professionals is two pages.
Your most recent experience (somewhere from seven to 10 years) is what really matters from an experience perspective and it’s generally pretty easy to tell your career story in two pages. If you’ve been at the same company during that time frame, you may be able to condense it to one page, but if you’ve moved around, then you’ll probably need to utilize two pages to fully outline your achievements.
The other thing you have to consider is where you are trying to go with your career. I recently wrote a resume for a nonprofit executive who was looking to get back into the private sector. Her last seven years had been with the same nonprofit and before that she was the CFO of a private company. Had she been looking to move to another nonprofit I would have kept her resume at a page and only documented her current position, but because she was looking to change industries we needed to highlight that she knows how the private sector works, which required a second page.
It’s easy to overthink this stuff and we can help you simplify it. If you aren’t sure about your resume and want us to take a look, consider our resume review package. We’ll talk through what you’re looking to do, provide detailed feedback on what changes you should make, and if you want us to help you rewrite it, we’ll deduct the review fee from the cost of the writing.