Is your Resume Too Long?

  • Feb 27, 2017
  • Mary Whitaker
  • Career advancement

Is your Resume Too Long?

Traditionally, many people will tell you a resume needs to be one or two pages. I believe instead of the worrying about the length of the resume, it is more important to have relevant content in your resume.

Relevant content must address your truthful experience in performing similar responsibilities, outline your accomplishments, and credentials for the position you are applying for. Depending on your experience and if you need to add experience from another country or if you have a solid professional growth in your career history a three-page resume may be suitable.

On the other hand, some people will tell you it must be a one page document. In many cases, people try to put all their information on one page and reduce the size of the font making it very hard to read and often will be put aside.

It is important to format your resume using a 10 to 12 size font and use acceptable styles for example: Arial, Calibri, New Times Roman or even Verdana. Some employers for example the Ontario government in their guideline for government applications will indicate their preference of Font and number of pages for the application which has been in the past a 5-page application.

When viewing a resume, it is not just the keywords that get attention it is how it looks so it needs to be professionally presented and be readable with no spelling errors and appropriate margin size.

If your resume has too much or too little information on it, you may be disqualifying yourself without knowing why you are not getting interviews.

Also, be aware of the industry standards for accepting resumes for example often in the trades, hospitality front or back end positions or sales clerk positions you may only require a one -page resume. If you are a high school student entering the work force a one page resume is what you may need., however it also depends on your activities outside school.  If you have worked in the same position doing the same thing for many years you may be able to use a one-page resume.

For executive positions or if you have a long work history with one employer, you may need a 3-page resume.

Also, remember your volunteer community involvement or professional courses you have taken may need to be added to your resume which may make it longer.
I believe in today’s labour market, one can use a one, two or three-page resume. Remember your resume needs to prove you can do the job and invite you to an interview where you will expand on your experiences.

When writing, or editing your next resume to be prepared for new career opportunities, think about how to present your content that is relevant to the position.

Mary Whitaker is the Founder, Career Coach and Talent Management Specialist at Rite Careers.  Mary has been providing career coaching services for 14 years assisting many individuals including new graduates, New Canadians and job changers to successfully find their next job in their career development to match their career goals. She also helps small business owners in understanding the interviewing process to hire the right candidate. Visit our website for further information at Contact Mary by email at or 226-378-9301 for a free ½ hour consultation.