Ahhhh yes… the long and frequently debated question, how long should a resume be?
Many years ago I mostly joked, with a side of serious, that I wanted to get 5 Recruiter and HR friends around a table with 7 bottles of wine and video/audio record the conversation that would include this question… how long should a resume be?
My guess is I would end up with 7 or 8 different answers. That some of my friends would end up contradicting themselves.
My answer to, “How long should my resume be” has been the same for as long as I can remember… not one line longer than it takes to get someone to want to talk with you.
I get that is subjective and we all don’t have a sense of what is too much or too little. If you’re cutting your resume short to fit onto a page, it’s likely too short. If you have 10 bullet points for every employer going back 10+ years it’s likely too long.
So maybe not a perfect answer just like the one page resume or only two page resume is not perfect.
“They say…” is what we always hear. “They say recent college grads should only have a one page resume.” Who the heck is “they” and who made them the all knowing on the subject. Oh, likely those who anoint themselves an “expert”.
Have you caught on to my sarcasm yet?
Some research from Resume Go with => Settling the Debate: One or Two Page Resumes
“Despite the common arguments given on the matter, there is little to no empirical data to support either side. In fact, so-called “experts” often base their conclusions on individual preferences and unsubstantiated claims from random sources. Furthermore, recruitment methods and the hiring landscape are constantly evolving, so what may have been true in the past may no longer be the case today.”
I don’t think they “settled the debate” with this one simulation but it is some interesting data. And it has me sticking to my advice… not any longer than it needs to be to get me or someone like me to call you back. However many pages that is.
My guess is, in the next two weeks we’ll see a major “expert” refute this and the debate will go on.
It’s worth noting that most applicant tracking systems (ATS) put resume content into fields so once it is in the system and without clicking on the original document… we don’t usually know how many pages it was.
If you are a Recruiter or in HR and want to try my wine experiment… send me an email
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