Whether you’re on the market or currently in a position, it’s good practice to keep your resume updated with current skills and knowledge. But in doing so comes the seemingly age-old question: Just how long should your resume be?
You’ve heard it all: “Keep your resume short – anything longer than one page is too much.” Perhaps you've been told, “Cap it at two pages… maybe three, if you’ve a lot of experience.” Or even still, “It doesn’t matter how long or short your resume is; if they want you, they’ll read it.”
So, which one is it? In a way, all of the above.
When it comes to a resume, it’s not so much length that counts, but what is showcased through structure, keywords and skills, and overall experience. Ultimately, it’s these three factors that will determine how long your resume “should” be. And here's why:
- Structure: Like the ingredients in a recipe, every section in your resume should serve a purpose. Consider starting with a clear summary of who you are and what you can contribute. Follow up with a section that includes education, training or certifications, and then a section for technical skill set including any software, programs, environments, methodologies, etc. Follow up with work experience (which we will touch on later), and perhaps any awards, honors, or addition information. This simple outline can potentially let a hiring manager know if they want to move on to an interview within the first few seconds of reviewing your resume.
- Key words and relevant skills: And as mentioned above, a section dedicated to key words and relevant skills to the position you are applying will remove any guesswork and give hiring managers a place to refer to when considering your candidacy. Feel free to include the years or level of experience, if desired.
- Overall experience: While this section should absolutely include details such as company name, starting and ending dates, title and project description (if applicable), this is an opportunity to really zero in on your expertise, but perhaps not the point of rambling or redundancy. This is a great place to highlight the main function of most recent and prior positions, as well as any measurable achievements, and leave it at that.
Technical Connections’ team of recruiters have assisted candidates with varying levels of experience and industries, and have even worked with them throughout their career advancement. If looking for a position in the tech space, check out our open jobs and please feel free to refer anyone in your network to this post.
By Lindsey Darden
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