When to Have a One-Page Resume
How long should your resume be ? It’s something many people ask themselves when job hunting – and a question with no easy answer.
Nowadays, some recruiters have the impression a resume should always be one page, no matter how much experience you have or what type of job you’re applying to. This advice is generally a myth.
Being concise on your resume is important and keeping it short where appropriate is also vital. After all, the average hiring manager spends just 7.4 seconds initially screening a resume, according to a study by Ladders.
However, there’s a time and place for resumes that extend beyond one page, and some circumstances may even require it. Another recent study discovered that hiring managers are 2.3 times more likely to choose a candidate with a two-page resume over one with a one-pager.
So, how long should your resume be? Empire Resume will delve into the much-asked question and tell you when a one-page resume is appropriate and when you’re okay to go beyond one page.
When One Page Makes Sense
In some cases, a one-page resume is entirely suitable. Resumes, in general, should be succinct and get your point across quickly, and having a brief, one-page resume a hiring manager can quickly scan will work to your advantage.
A one-page resume works well if you’re early in your career or have just graduated from college. Today, many college grads have various types of experience when entering the workforce, such as internships, odd jobs, and extracurricular activities from school.
Still, if you’re seeking your first professional job, you can likely fit all of this info onto one page.
Similarly, if you have less than five or seven years of full-time work experience, you can also stick to a one-page resume. When listing experiences and achievements, only list the most relevant ones to the position you’re applying to.
Remove prior internships and university activities that don’t directly relate to the desired position, and you’ll easily be able to create a one-page resume that’s jam-packed with all the necessary information.
Another circumstance when a one-page resume makes sense is when you’re transitioning to a new career. In this case, you may have more than a decade of professional experience, but not all of it will be transferrable to the job you’re applying to in the new career field. If that’s the case, think hard about what skills, achievements, and previous jobs you should list.
One benefit of a one-page resume is it’s excellent for in-person scenarios like job fairs or networking events. During the pandemic, the same goes for virtual job fairs and networking scenarios.
The bottom line is one-page resumes are popular because they’ll get your point across quickly. The golden rule should be to always shoot for brevity, eliminate words and experiences that are unnecessary, and remember that a resume should be scannable for busy hiring managers.
When to Go with Two Pages
As we mentioned earlier, there’s no hard-and-fast rule for resume length (in most cases). And based on some recent studies, a two-page resume that still manages to concisely pack much good, relevant information may be preferable.
Before you create a two-page resume, ask yourself a few questions first. If you have more than 10 years of professional experience, it’s certainly okay to make a two-page resume. By this point in your career, you’ve likely accomplished a lot in various roles and have multiple relevant certifications. If all this is relevant to the position you’re applying for, a resume that extends to a page and a half will not be a turn-off for a hiring manager.
The benefits of a two-page resume are you’ll be able to go into more detail about the positions you’ve held and your accomplishments. With a two-page resume, you can also add a professional summary or career highlights section at the beginning containing relevant keywords that’ll help you get past an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
Two-page resumes are good but don’t cram your entire work history onto them. The general rule of thumb is to go back to the past 10 to 15 years of work history. Another trick: If you’re worried there will be gaps between jobs when listing relevant work experience, title the section “Relevant Work Experience” or “Selected Work Experience.” This lets the hiring manager know the list is not all-inclusive and contains only what’s necessary for the position.
Beyond Two Pages is Rare
Resumes extend beyond two pages in very rare cases, such as for academic, scientific, or certain federal jobs. Senior-level executives may sometimes submit resumes that are three pages or more, as they show their career progression, speaking engagements, publications, or other types of information. However, a two page resume is completely acceptable even for a CEO.
In some cases, these types of resumes are actually CVs, curriculum vitae, which is an entirely different ballgame. For most job candidates, two pages should be the maximum resume length unless you meet these rare exceptions.
The great thing about LinkedIn is you can include additional information that may not appear on your resume, such as courses taken, extra volunteer work, college internships, or other things that may not fit on a two-page resume. Most all hiring managers will check your LinkedIn profile if they’re interested in you, so the profile is an excellent chance to offer a more complete career story.
Just be mindful that you want your resume and LinkedIn profile to be similar to each other. If the profile and resume are widely different, this could be a big turn-off for a hiring manager.
The Biggest Resume Rule
If you have more than a decade of professional experience, you’ve earned the right to have a two-page resume. Unless you’re changing careers, two-page resumes are probably the best bet for someone in this situation.
But while there are some rules for resume length, the biggest rule is to create a resume that’s brief, lists your most recent and relevant work experience, and clearly showcases your value. Focus on substance rather than length.
A great resume tells a compelling career story that’ll catch a hiring manager’s eye – and do it quickly. The resume should also be clean, free of errors, and easy to read. Finally, ensure your resume includes all the relevant keywords so it can get past pesky ATS software.
Empire Resume can help you create a stunning resume to land your next job. We help all job-hunters, from entry-level to C-Level, and every resume we work on is fully optimized for ATS software. Call us today at 801-690-4085 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free resume review!
Also, stay tuned on our career blog for more helpful articles about resumes and career advice and topics.
Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.