Resume Page Length – One Page Or Two?

By | January 30, 2016

The age-old question in resume writing has always been, “How many pages should my resume be?”

To answer that question simply – there are no set rules as to a resume’s page length in today’s job market.

You will hear several different opinions from multiple resume writers regarding resume page length. No one has the exact standard because there isn’t one.

There used to be the old resume myth that if you didn’t have ten years of experience, keep your resume at one page. That just doesn’t apply anymore in today’s job search arena. Why? Because many talented professionals early in their careers have opted to use a more current resume format known as the combination resume format (or hybrid resume format) to suit their current career situation or new job search.

This resume format allows them to showcase their skills and experience right up front and allows for less focus on career gaps or several job changes. What it also allows for is the ability to use the first page to focus on their skill summary and their skill groups and leave the second page for their employment history as well as education and training.

So when it comes to resume page length, here are our recommendations:

If you are just starting out in your job search out of high school or college and your work experience has only been with one or two companies, then a single page resume should work well for you.

If you have been out in the workplace for more than a few years and have worked in more than one position or career field, then you should have enough experience to warrant a 2-page resume.

Resume Page Length - One Page Or Two

We rarely ever write any 3-page resumes due to the fact that we feel that you should be able to list all of your pertinent skills and experience into two or three skill groups on the first page of your resume followed by your employment history and eructation/training on the second page.
Your resume should be a positive and effective representation of your skills and experience no matter what the page length. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to cram all of your information onto one single page. We’ve spoken with many Human Resources managers and they’ve shared with us that they are very comfortable with both single and 2-page resumes.

For my resume writing clients, I almost always opt for 2-page resumes as they have worked extremely well for our clients with experience levels from just past entry-level all the way to executives with 20+ years. These clients have received many calls for interviews and ultimately have been hired!

Our single-page resumes have also done very well for our first time resume clients and early career clients.

It all comes down to how well you write your resume and does it showcase your skills and experience?

Resume page length should not be a hurdle for you, write the best resume you can and then see where your page length is at once you are finished.

  • Dan

    Neither one or two or three or whatever.

    Firstly, consider the dumbing of the recruiting business: The resume is first looked at by a dumb machine, and the machine does not care one bit how many pages it has to look through to pick out the keywords. What is important is that the keywords do exist in the resume, and the more the merrier. The number of pages therefore is dictated by the ability to place those keywords in a context that eventually may be read by a human, some of whom are not much smarter than the machines. Only when it gets to the Hiring Manager does the length of the resume matter.

    Secondly, it depends on the length of your career and intricacy of your experiences and contributions to your former employers. If you can quantify your contributions in two pages, then that should be your goal. Assuming that you are not going to customize your resume for each job you are applying to – an impossible task even if the job description was accurate which they rarely are. What you want to demonstrate to an unspecified audience is that you are valuable, have brought value to your former employers, and therefore more than likely bring value to this one too. That is the purpose of the resume in the first place, and use as many or as few pages as needed to demonstrate that, At the same time try to not be TOO detailed, just plant the seeds and hope to be called for an interview where you can expand on these and better direct them towards the actual needs of the interviewer.

    So stop fretting about the length, start being concerned about the content.

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