How many words should a resume be?

How many words should a resume be? While there’s no exact answer, but recent research shows that the “sweet spot” for resume length is between 475 and 600 words.

According to new research by TalentWorks that analyzed over 6,000 job applications from 66 industries, the sweet spot for resume length is between 475 and 600 words. In fact, if you go over that 600-word mark, you are 43% less likely to get hired.

But there is definitely a fine line when it comes to length because if you go below 475, even 450, in an attempt to keep it short you are also hurting your chances. Less than 450 had lower interview rates (less than 5% and this was the same for over 600 words.)

But that sweet spot  means your resume is going to be fairly dense but interview rates reach 8.2% in this range.

However, if you’re an academic or industrial scientist, college professor, school teacher, or social service worker longer resumes are actually better. These are all industries that put an emphasis on achievements and motivations.

But for all other industries keep it short and in that sweet spot, especially in business. The research found that long resumes were 72% less hirable than those in the acceptable range!

Don’t stuff yourself

Also, beware of “keyword stuffing.” The researchers found that having more keywords in a resume didn’t correlate with a higher interview rate. This was surprising considering that some resumes won’t even get looked at unless they have certain keywords. But clearly, it is quality over quantity, and by quality they mean keywords that match the job description.