How long should a resume be? Two sides, three or four? The resume page number is regularly a challenge for job seekers. All relevant content must be clear, but it should also remain meaningful. If the resume is too long, it will often be noticed negatively by HR professionals. Here you can find out how many pages the basic resume should have in the application documents – and what you have to consider.
Resume page number: get to the heart of your qualifications
The basic rule for the number of pages in a resume: keep it short! HR professionals want to find the essential information at a glance. These are:
- Who is the candidate?
- Does he have all the necessary qualifications?
The resume is about hard facts (the hard skills ) and a quick overview. In particular, the must-have qualifications must immediately catch the eye. With many pages, the effect is diluted with each additional sheet.
HR managers don’t want to search long. There are often only two minutes per application for the first selection in everyday work with hundreds of candidates. If you submit a cluttered, confusing resume, you will quickly end up rejected.
Application is the first work sample.
Application documents are the first sample of work for employers. In this way, the minimalist resume also shows whether you can set priorities, distinguish important from unimportant and get to the point—an essential skill for success in many jobs.
The resume page number thus reflects – indirectly – that you have prepared the tabular resume individually for this position and have only focused on those professional stages, qualifications, and strengths that meet the position’s expectations and challenges.
How many pages a resume should be
As a rule of thumb, you can remember: The basic resume should be between one and a maximum of three A4 pages. The length depends on the previous career, professional experience, and the level of the position. Young professionals usually get by on one page. Specialists and managers need more space. But please never more than three pages!
The number of pages that are right for you depends on your career. The following information is a rough guide:
How many pages should a resume be for young professionals?
Who into professional life enter usually has little professional experience. Many a beginner has problems filling just one page. Don’t panic: half a page is enough for students and future trainees. A short, crisp resume is always better than a bloated one.
How many pages should a resume be for professionals?
With professional experience, the number of resume pages also increases. After five years, many specialists are already writing up to two A4 pages. No problem if it makes sense and is necessary. For long-time specialists, three pages are fine as long as the information is relevant to the position. Otherwise, you have to choose!
How many pages should an executive resume be?
Executives and managers are expected in their resumes to address measurable successes and central management tasks. That takes space. However, they may not exceed the maximum of up to three A4 pages in the resume. In case of doubt: shorten or formulate it in keywords. Relevance and topicality have priority here.
Resume length: Please no wrong tricks
To meet the required resume page number, some applicants try different tricks:
- Reduce the font size by a few points to get the content on one page.
- Reduce or remove paragraphs and spaces.
We advise against such tricks. These are at the expense of legibility, structure, and clarity. Perhaps by doing this, you will squeeze the resume onto one page – but it will not be more readable.
Instead, rigorously shorten unimportant information. Professional stations and dates must be complete and without gaps. How detailed you formulate the individual station is up to you. So the real trick is: Find out in more detail what qualifies and convinces for the desired position – and shorten what is worth mentioning.