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How Long Should My IT Resume Be?

Posted March 17th, 2020

How long an IT resume should be is a hotly debated topic. Some swear that one page should be the limit. Others think that two or three pages might be appropriate, depending on the position.

The mix of advice can be confusing to IT candidates. Luckily, there is a way to find the right length for your tech resume. Here’s what you need to know.

The Impact of Digital Transformation

Before the advent of social media, the applicant tracking system (ATS), and even email, resumes were always printed on paper. Whether they were hand-delivered, mailed, or faxed over, the end result was text on paper.

The original one-page resume limit is a reflection of that time. There was a chance a second page could go missing, so keeping everyone on one increased the odds that the hiring manager would see everything you wanted to share.

However, resumes aren’t typically printed anymore. Candidates usually only create physical copies when they are preparing to attend an interview. Many hiring managers work solely off of digital resumes when making decisions about who to interview or hire.

Since resumes are more likely to be digital files that anything else, you don’t have to worry about a second page going missing. An ATS is ordinarily capable of scanning a multi-page document as well, so there isn’t a technical reason for limiting yourself to one page either.

Instead, you need to consider other factors to determine how long your IT resume should be. That way, you can choose the best length for your given situation.

Choosing a Resume Length

The purpose of your resume is to showcase that you’re the right person for the job. However, a hiring manager is only going to look at your resume for a few seconds initially. Then, they are going to make a decision regarding whether you should stay in contention or not. As a result, you need to demonstrate your capabilities quickly.

If you are trying to secure an entry-level tech job or have only had a few relevant positions, a one-page resume is usually sufficient. You can highlight your skills, education, and experience without running the risk of including details that don’t provide the hiring manager with value.

Once you’ve had about four previous relevant positions or approximately seven to 10 years of experience, a two-page resume might be a better choice. It gives you room to highlight your accomplishments and skills, and isn’t inappropriate based on the length of your career.

Just make sure that you have enough relevant information to get at least halfway into the second page. If not, then finding a way to be more concise might be a better decision.

Usually, anything beyond two pages is only a good choice in a limited number of situations. High-level managers and C-suite members might need to cross the two-page mark. At times, an experienced IT project manager might end up with a three-page resume if they have had a broad selection of unique projects, all with standout accomplishments.

However, these are just guidelines. Your goal should be to focus on relevancy, not resume length. If you can share every critical detail that’s relevant to your target role on a single page, do it. Your one-page resume will be incredibly impactful, making that approach wise.

But, if you genuinely need that second page, that’s fine too. As long as the content is engaging in the eyes of the hiring manager, you should be safe.

Call Bayside Solutions Today for Expert Resume Advice!

If you’d like to learn more, the staff at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us today and see how our resume writing expertise can benefit you.

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