Can a resume be two pages? How many pages should a resume be? Resume length is common question ask by job hunters. There’s a lot of debate on the internet so we did the research, asking industry professionals, to get to the bottom of it.
Often it is said that resume’s shouldn’t be over one page in length, but that rule is not one that is set in stone. The opinions on the matter are varied and the actual answer to the question “how long should my resume be?” is subjective. Depending on the circumstance, your resume could be one page, two pages…or yes…even longer!
So what is the best length for a resume? Alison Green of Ask a Manager explains, “To be clear, resume length isn’t on its own an automatic deal-breaker. If anyone is rejecting a candidate because of a resume that’s a page longer than someone else’s, that person probably isn’t very good at hiring. But length does play into the overall perception of you as a candidate—can you convey essential knowledge quickly, do you know what is and isn’t essential, etc.?–and that overall assessment is hugely important.”
When to Use a One Page Resume
A one-pager resume is a great goal to have when writing your resume as many hiring managers prefer it. With the employer spending no more than 6-seconds looking at your resume on average, it’s important to have a resume that speaks to quality, not quantity.
Space is important on your resume, so you don’t want to cram all the information on to one page. Try using columns in your resume to make the most of the page.
A one page resume is a relief for those who don’t have much work experience such as students and fresh grads as they typically have less to put on it. However, a single page can also work for those with a lengthy list of experience as it showcases their ability to be clear, direct and an effective communicator.
You do not need to list every single job you have ever done, all the courses you’ve taken and every one of your weekend hobbies. Remember, your resume should be a snapshot of your best accomplishments to sell you to the employer.
“If you have a long work history, know that most people don’t read what you did 10 years ago.” Dani Johnson (Author of Grooming the Next Generation for Success) adds, supporting the notion that a shorter resume can also apply for experienced workers.
When to Use a Two Page Resume (or more)
If the information on your resume is truly relevant and important for the employer to know, keep it on your resume…even if it exceeds one page. We repeat: focus on quality, not quantity!
If you are maxing out your margin limit and scaling your font size to 4, you need to accept that you need a longer resume.
Stefan Persson addresses this in his article, The One Page Resume Myth: “If you think that a one-page resume is important, you’re wrong. Dead wrong. The people who will look at your resume do not have a special pile for one-page resumes,”
If you need to use more than one page, just remember to put the most relevant, compelling content on the first page of your resume and save things like hobbies and references, if you choose to include them, for the second page.
As well, ensure your contact information is included on each page of your resume – if you need to save space on additional pages, put your contact info in the header or footer.
Do not focus on achieving a resume of a specific page length before you start building it. Every job offers something different, and you have something different to offer every job so it’s safe to say that expectations differ for each opportunity.
Start building your resume by creating a complete, exhaustive list of your experience, education, and skills. These will be the building blocks for your resumes. From there, you can look at each job and pare the list down and rearrange it to suit the specific role.
You may end up creating a one-page resume and a two-page resume depending on each unique job opportunity you apply for.
What are you waiting for? Get your resume length right:
Writing a great resume can be an uphill battle for new job seekers, there is lots to learn but resume writing isn’t hard if you have the right tools and resources to help you along the way!
It’s free to get started with the online resume maker at Resume.com. Our wizard walks you through exactly how to start and where to fill in the blanks to get your next gig.