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Short vs Long Resume: Does it Make a Difference to AI? Featured

Short vs Long Resume: Does it Make a Difference to AI? Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

So I will hit you with a statistic - on average, experienced recruitment consultants can analyze a resume in 6 seconds. This lends to the belief that these consultants scan and look for key information to make a decision to do a deeper dive into a jobseekers career history.

Compared to human recruiters, Artificial Intelligence can read an entire resume word for word a million times faster while looking for a good level more of information that enables it to make an accurate match against a job in order to shortlist. So it begs the question, does resume length matter in the hiring process when trying to get past AI first?

Well, there are limits. Would a two-page resume rank higher than a one-page resume, or even still would a three-page resume trump them all? There are many factors to consider here such as:

Resume Format: Large gaps, layout design, and text size are not a way of making a resume into two pages and claiming the AI hasn’t been fair to you, as AI strictly goes by information, not by blank spaces and large words. This isn’t a college term paper - AI will know if you’ve made the periods on the page a larger size than the rest of the text.

Rubbish In Rubbish Out: What is the quality of what’s written on the resume? Yes we could all write two pages of non-specific garbage that again, we could claim is a long written resume, but this translates to a lot of nonsense for AI which will be disregarded. AI works on good inputs; so if a resume has good content, clear dates, relevant companies, skills, and experience this will play the dominant role within the success of the candidate, not necessarily the length of the resume itself.

Realistic Boundaries: If a resume is 10 pages long, the likelihood it will be more successful than that of a two or three-page resume that also has good content, is pretty slim. However, if a resume is literally a paragraph long, then no matter how good that paragraph is, it’s not going to be enough for the AI to deem it relevant.

To conclude on this point, the reality is that a resume should be no shorter than 1 page of good content and ideally two pages in order to give enough information for the machine to make an accurate match and shortlist. In some sectors such as creative design, of course a resume may be much longer to display the breadth of your experience, but don’t fret, as long as you have good content on your resume, AI won’t judge you for expatiating over your experience.

Things that really matter other than content are dates, as AI uses this to scope how much time you have been doing something to know whether you are relevant for certain roles or not. Some AI is smart enough to know that dates are legacy, so if you have a long work history, be conscious of the fact that if you list jobs you had 10 years ago, some matching technology will use this to find roles that you may be too senior for today.

So to conclude - does resume size matter? Yes, but, if you follow the above parameters, you will get the most out of your job-seeking experience and appeal to recruiters and AI matching technology alike.


Arran James Stewart is the co-founder and CVO of blockchain recruitment platform Relying on a decade worth of experience in the recruitment industry, Arran has consistently sought to bring recruitment to the cutting edge of technology. Arran helped develop one of the world’s first multi-post to media buy talent attraction portals, and also helped reinvent the way job content found candidates through utilizing matching technology against job aggregation. Arran is currently launching the first blockchain recruitment platform with – which aims to be the most secure, efficient, and transparent hiring process ever. As a first-mover in online recruitment technology with a decade of experience in recruitment, Arran’s expertise has been featured in Forbes, Reuters, Wired, and Hacker Noon, among other publications.

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