One page or two? Oh, what to do? and other great resume debates


Let me preface this by saying that resumes writers and employers alike have varying opinions and preferences on all three of these questions.  There aren’t really any completely right or wrong answers, just different perspectives.

Here are mine (though in this case especially, you’ll be hard pressed to find any experienced resume writer, hiring manager or recruiter who wouldn’t agree)

Many, many people believe, mostly because they’ve been told, that a resume MUST be ONLY ONE PAGE.  >>>Not true.

One Page:  Sure, one page is fine, you can’t (usually) go wrong –  but –  ONLY if you’re not selling yourself short by keeping it to one page.  Make sure your resume includes all your accomplishments and a solid sampling of your skills.

One page is most common for: recent grads; entry level jobs; when specifically requested by the employer

Two Pages: If you do have a two page resume:  make sure you 1) catch attention on the first page, 2) all the VITAL information is on the first page, because this way, if the reader doesn’t flip to the second page, nothing truly important is missed. Usually if your first page is impressive enough, most readers will flip to the see the second.

Two pages are most common for: just about everyone else that has five or more years of experience.*

Really prefer to play it safe?  You need a well written, concise yet thorough one page resume, then.


*There can be exceptions BUT likely, you don’t fit those (EX: CEO/senior level professionals with decades of experience whose jobs require full career or more in depth histories; academics and other fields which want a full career CV (vs. a standard resume that focuses on the last 10-15 years for most professionals in most professions)

For most jobs, anything longer than 2 pages can actually be a turn off to the reader, and a reason to pass you by!

Need help determining if you’re selling yourself short by limiting your resume to one page?  Having a hard time figuring out what to cut or how to format your resume to get it down to 2 pages?

Let me help! Contact me here

THE GREAT DEBATES: Answers to long standing and much discussed questions about resumes:

1. One page only, or is two-pager okay? 

2. Do I need an Objective Statement, or not?