How long should my resume be?
That will depend on your background, the purpose of your document (job or internship search, or grad school application), and the industry on which you're focusing.
Start with these general guidelines, and then we can assist you with revisions through advising. Keep a reference draft of your resume with more detail, and you can edit and shorten it as needed for different purposes.
Non-profit, business, industry, and other non-academic fields:
For most undergraduate and graduate students, employers expect a one-page resume.
Be aware there are exceptions in specific career fields; so research your industry.
A graduate student with extensive professional experience prior to entering grad school may have a longer resume, particularly when the experience is relevant to the next career goal.
Federal job search resumes are expected to be longer.
Teaching candidate resumes are generally two pages to provide details on student teaching experience.
Academic job search typically requires a multi-page curriculum vitae [CV] which is a longer document, up to several pages, depending on the extent of experience, research, and publications.
Why do many employers prefer a one-page resume?
- Employers typically spend 15 to 30 seconds, or less, on the first read of a resume.
- Many employers won't take the time to read a second page unless the content is very concise and of good quality.
- If the resume goes to two pages due to poor formatting, this will not favorably impress an employer.
Exceptions to justify more than one page:
- Extensive professional experience prior to completing the bachelor's degree.
- Small percentage of undergraduates and graduate students who have extensive leadership and involvement and related experience to justify two pages.
If your background justifies a two-page resume:
- Place the most important information on the first page.
- Include page numbers so the reader knows the document continues and for how long; e.g. a footer indicating page 1 of 2, etc.
- After the first page, include your name in the footer. Don't place it in the header, because it could be confused for a first page.
- For hard copies, print on both sides of your paper.