Here’s a question from one of our readers about a 3-page resume:
“I have been looking at a lot of resume building sites and have noticed that everyone says that I should have my resume down to 2 pages, but is it bad to have a 3-page resume instead? I am graduating from Geomatics Engineering and have some great experiences that would be great for the company.” Harsil Jani
Here was our response:
The challenge with “rules” about resume page length is that those rules aren’t rules at all.
They are guidelines which vary based on certain career challenges/situations. Here’s some food for thought:
College resumes are most often one page.
Yes, this is accurate a fair amount of the time … presuming the college student has no, or limited work experience to speak of.
This statement wouldn’t be true for returning college students with extensive work histories.
Resumes should be one or two pages.
Most of the time, this is true. Though, a 3-page resume isn’t that farfetched.
Resume page length does expand when more job details are written in … no surprise there.
In fact, recruiters sometimes ask for what they call “fleshed out” resumes.
This means they want to see every bit of employment the job seeker has held over their career.
This could mean including jobs from the 1970s, 1980s, and so on.
A resume can get very long in these instances.
Resumes should never be more than two pages.
Executives might find it difficult to squeeze their accomplishments into a restrictive space.
Recruiters and hiring managers sometimes want to see every bit of a person’s employment history.
Other exceptions to page length include those individuals who have CVs, not resumes. In fact, CVs are inherently longer, making even a 3-page resume ideal in some cases.
Since you’re a Geomatics Engineer, a technical career, you’ll use a CV format throughout your career.
Of course, all of the above gets thrown to the curb when working with a hiring entity that has their own particular resume preferences. Job seekers might find themselves confused and dizzy when reading some people’s resume requirements, but the above advice works in most cases.
What’s the difference between a CV and a resume?
Although CVs and resumes are beginning to resemble each other, CVs are still very distinct.
For example, a CV is typically found amongst those in academic, engineering, science, and other technical roles (not IT).
The reason for the CV is mainly because those professionals are involved in tasks not seen with typical job seekers; i.e. research papers and publications.
In your particular case, your CV (resume) is three pages and you’re an upcoming graduate.
Those facts do make me wonder exactly what’s being included in your CV and does give the inclination that yes maybe your CV does need to be widdled down to a more comfortable size.
Definitely, keep some of these things I mentioned above in mind, however.
It probably wouldn’t hurt to have a resume professional take a look, and provide you with some guidance. Take it to the career services department at your college.
They can help you identify what should be included/excluded.
Good luck to you, Harsil.