Welcome to Job Q&A From the Trenches! We answer your questions on building a resume, interviewing, searching for jobs and more – just ask!
Q: I can’t fit my resume onto one page. Is a two page resume too long?
A: Getting all your details into an effective, concise document is a challenge. Using a one or two page resume is a question many job seekers have!
As a new graduate, or someone just entering the workforce, your details should fit on one page. When your resume goes longer – and your career life is young (under 5 years) – check that you’re not filling it up with “fluff” and irrelevant information. Shape your resume to your anticipated job goals. Talk only about applicable details for the roles you seek. Use your space wisely!
As your career progresses, you gain more experience, accomplishments, and achievements … and build your resume. While building, keep in mind shorter is definitely better. However, if your professional level and career story calls for a longer resume, then additional space is needed – and acceptable! But keep it to two pages; anything longer loses impact (and likely won’t be read).
Decide what your career story requires. Only include details focused on the roles you’re currently applying for. Don’t concentrate on outdated or unimportant information not relevant to the position.
Read through your resume, make some evaluations, and see what you can leave out – while still giving insight into what you offer. For example: leave out jobs from more than 10 years ago and info having nothing to do with the positions you now seek. What else to take off your resume? Read more here: Take it Off! (But Don’t Take it ALL Off – A Guide to a Slimmer Resume)
Format your resume to entice hiring managers; keep it compelling and make them want to read more. Clearly show your experience, positions held, and highlighted skills – while keeping it brief. Keep this in mind when deciding your length. Cramming everything in 7-point font onto one page with little margins will most likely put you in the rejection pile.
But spacing everything out with large margins and lots of white space, just to go to two pages, is not a good idea either. (And if you’re only going over by a couple words or a line or two, reevaluate details on the first page to bring it down to one.)
Make sure your resume supports your current job hunt. It needs to be organized and give a great first impression. If you feel going to two pages will more effectively highlight your career story to hiring managers – then it’s ok! The most important thing is to keep it relevant and focused!
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