Resumes

How to Format a 2 Page Resume

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Deciding if you should use a two page resume format can be a challenge. If you have extensive experience and skills, it can be beneficial to add a second page to your resume to communicate your value as an applicant to an employer. Learn more about when to use a two page resume, the advantages of a two page resume, tips for formatting and how to write one.

When to use a two page resume

Using a two page resume format is a good choice when you have extensive experience relevant to the position you’re applying for. The two page resume format is acceptable for applicants who have at least five years of experience in the same career field of the open position, and most common for those who have 10 or more years of experience.

When to use a one page resume

If you are changing careers or have less than five years of experience in a relevant field, it’s recommended to keep your resume to one page only. However, the deciding factor for whether to include a second page on your resume is if you have enough relevant skills and accomplishments to fill a second page. Only using a single page resume used to be the standard because the second page could easily be lost when resumes were typically faxed or mailed to employers. Since most resumes are now sent digitally, the risk of losing a page is reduced.

Tips for deciding when to use a two page resume format

Here are some instances when you should use a two page resume format:

  • You are targeting a senior or management position
  • You have multiple relevant projects, certifications or technological skills to detail
  • You have many extracurricular achievements
  • You’ve held more than a few positions in a relevant industry
  • You’re applying for a job in the federal government

You can decide whether a two page resume is right for you by first writing down everything you could include on your resume. Then, remove any information not related to the position you want to apply for. If what you have left is still one and a half pages or longer, a two page resume will probably be beneficial to your application.

Benefits of having a two page resume

The advantages of sending a two page resume to an employer include:

Readability

If you try to fit all your experience on one page, you may end with a resume that is cramped and difficult to read. Using two pages allows for clear margins, spacing, section headings and other visual factors that help an employer to easily scan and understand the information presented.

More sections

A two page resume format allows you space to clearly categorize all your accomplishments in a way that makes them easy for an employer to recognize. Instead of only including work experience, skills and education, a second page can hold separate resume sections for conferences, publications, courses, volunteer work, certifications, technological skills or whatever other categories that make sense for your experience and industry, as well as give you space to include a summary on the first page.

Including keywords

A longer resume means you can include more keywords on it. Having more keywords from the job description in your resume gives you a higher chance of passing through Applicant Tracking Systems, which are electronic resume scanners that use keywords relevant to the position to filter out applicants.

Tips for formatting a two page resume

If you want to use a two page resume format, you can use these tips to make sure it is formatted properly:

Include your contact information on the second page

While the header on your first page should be larger, your contact information should also be placed at the top of the second page of your resume so an employer can easily find this information while reading. Use a font size that’s only one size larger than the rest of the page, and limit this information to your name, phone number and email address. This should be a smaller version of the main header on the first page.

Number the pages

Include page numbers on both pages of the resume so anyone reading it will understand the format. When an employer sees ‘Page 1 of 2’ or ‘1/1’ in the top corner of the first page, they know they are reading a two page resume before scrolling to the bottom. Including ‘2/2’ at the top of the second page makes it clear to a reader that this is only half of the information.

Fill the second page

When you are using a two page resume format, the second page should be just as long as the first page. If you only have enough material for one and a half pages, it’s better to cut it down to one page. As with a one page resume, make sure to tailor your two page resume to the position you’re applying for and only include relevant information. If you need to use outdated or unrelated information to fill up the second page, it would be better to remain on one page.

Use the same style as the first page

Continue your formatting choices on the second page. The section headings, margins, font type and font size should all be the same as the first page.

Print single-sided pages and use a paper clip

If you are printing your two page resume, make sure you use two pages to print it, instead of a double-sided sheet. Use a paper clip instead of a staple to hold the pages together, because an employer may want to copy or scan it.

How to write a two page resume

Follow these steps to write and organize a two page resume:

1. Firstly, put what’s most important on the first page

Begin preparing your two page resume by deciding what is most important for the hiring manager to know about you. If they only read the first page of your resume, they should still be able to have a good sense of your qualifications. Make sure to read the job description and research the company to know what they are looking for in a candidate. Try to include all the information for your most recent position on the first page of the resume. Succeeding positions can continue on the second page, but it’s best not to split an entry.

Example of sections to include on the first page of your resume:

  • Header. List your name and contact information clearly at the top of the first page
  • Summary. Include a summary of your most important qualifications that are relevant to the position with a paragraph, a bullet list or one or two sentences and a few bullet points
  • Skills. Most two page resumes list skills on the first page before the professional history section
  • Experience. After the list of skills, begin detailing your work experience

2. Then, continue listing your professional experience in order of importance on the second page

Continue detailing your relevant work experience on the second page of your resume. Divide each entry by workplace or the title you held, if you had multiple positions at one company, and include about five bullet points under each entry. When listing your professional history, focus more on your accomplishments than on the duties you performed. Quantify your achievements as much as possible to show the results of your performance.

3. Lastly, finish by including other relevant sections on the second page

After your work history, include any other sections that are relevant to the open position. Place your education section last, at the bottom of the page. Be sure to fill the second page with essential information.