The Great Resume Debate: One Page or Two Pages?

These days it seems like everyone has their own opinion about the proper way to set up a resume. Should you include an objective statement? Should your education or relevant experience go first? How many pages should it be? If you were to ask these questions to a group of people, chances are you’ll get different responses from everyone.

Today we’ll focus on the latter – how many pages should your resume be? Take a look at the arguments for both one-page resumes and two-page resumes.

Arguments for One Page

There is a large population of hiring managers who only want to see one-page resumes. Here is their reasoning behind this preference:

  • Less is more. Hiring managers receive hundreds of resumes for a given position, so they prefer seeing resumes that are short and to the point. A resume is supposed to highlight your attributes. Hiring managers should not have to search through all your drawn-out descriptions for them. Think of your resume as an ad, not a comprehensive biography.
  • If you are new in your career, you should not fluff up your experience and add padding to your accomplishments to make yourself appear more skilled. Hiring managers can see through that and will get bored reading through your redundant and supercilious job responsibility descriptions.
  • If you have had a long career, it is not necessary to list jobs and responsibilities from more than 10 years ago. Hiring managers are mainly interested in your recent and relevant experience.

Argument for Two Pages

On the flip side, there is another large population of hiring managers who like two-page resumes for these reasons:

  • If you are cramming a lot of information into a one-page resume, the hiring manager might get overwhelmed reading through it. An organized two-page resume is much easier on the eye than a jam-packed one-page resume.
  • With programs that automatically sift through resumes searching for key words, the more information you include, the greater chance your resume will have being pulled.
  • If you’re leaving off key information solely to get your resume into one page, you’re going at it all wrong. At the end of the day, hiring managers are more focused on your experience and qualifications than the length of your resume.

Conclusion

So what have we concluded with all of this information? It’s different for everyone! Various industries, amount of experience and even regions of the country all have different expectations, so the best way to tackle this issue is to talk to a trusted mentor.

Resumes are a necessary evil during the job hunt, but the more educated you become of hiring managers’ expectations, the better chance your resume has of earning you an interview!

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