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Resume Myth: Resumes Should Be One Page

During my last class a student asked whether the resume should only be one page long. This is one of the most common resume myths perpetuated by job seekers. I want to tell you this is not true. Back in the days before the common use of computers, this was the case. But nowadays, resumes are scanned into big computer systems and searched for keywords.

There is no hard and fast rule about resume length. In my professional career I have yet to see any job candidates with a one page resume. The normal length of a resume is two to three pages. I personally believe this is the ideal length for most job seekers. I have seen resumes that go beyond three pages too. Anything more than five pages is overkill unless you are seeking an academic job or a senior executive level position.

If you try to squeeze everything in one page, you might leave behind important information that will prevent the employer from accurately evaluating your qualifications and experiences. Your resume should be as long as necessary to convey what you need to impress the people reading it. Remember, the purpose of a resume is to convince someone to give you an interview. Regardless of how long your resume is, be sure to put the most important and eye-catching information on the first page. Most resumes are given a quick glance before it gets discarded or move along in the process.

A one-page resume is only appropriate for a recent college grad or someone who is just starting out on their career. Once you have a few years of experience, you should not feel you need to stick to one page.

Your resume is your personal marketing tool. It is up to you to decide whether you can market yourself convincingly with one or more pages.

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