The one or two-page resume is a hotly debated subject and one that has been going on for years. With one article telling you to stick to one page and the next telling you to go for two pages, it’s not that hard to get confused – especially when a third article tells you that it’s okay to have a three-page resume.
So which one is it? How long should your resume be?
See Also: The Most Common Violated Resume Rules
While the trend is generally toward a two-page resume, hiring managers tend to have a short attention span and it is, therefore, vital that you keep them reading the CV that could very well make or break your career. And one-page resumes can help you in that regard.
Generally speaking, however, one-page resumes should only be used if you have under 10 years’ professional experience, you’re seeking a radical career change that has nothing to do with your current expertise, or if you’ve only worked for one employer.
All the pros agree that two pages is the ideal length of a successful resume – as long as it is properly structured. The two-page resume is mostly used by job seekers who have over 10 years’ experience in their field and who need space to list their technical knowledge.
While two pages may be considered to be “too much” for recruiters with short attention spans, one way to overcome that is by using bullet points for each position and by utilizing a chronological format.
Three Pages or More
Now this is the point where you need to tread extra carefully. Hiring managers want to see a clear and concise resume; they don’t want your autobiography. So, unless you don’t have a good enough to reason to write a three-page resume (or longer), this option should be best left to senior-level managers and executives, or academics and scientists with a long list of publications, licenses, and patents.
“Don’t include ‘References Available Upon Request’ on your resume” is one of the most widely given pieces of resume-writing advice. You should generally provide references only when you’re asked for them. In this case, you can write a references page to supplement your resume. Likewise, you could use an addendum to further highlight specialized skills, qualifications, and experience.
Food for Thought
Remember that your resume should be a clear and concise marketing tool for your professional development, with emphasis on “clear and concise”. That means that trying to squeeze a lot of text into a one or two-page resume by reducing the font size will only make it difficult to read. Resist the temptation, and keep the font size to a minimum of 10 points, depending on which font you use – Arial, Calibri, Garamond, Georgia, and Helvetica are generally the preferred fonts in resume writing.
Equally important to remember is that if you absolutely must write a second or third page, at least, a third or half of that page must be used. Do not use an extra page just to include a couple of lines; this will only make it look incomplete – go over your resume and check what can be edited or deleted altogether. For example, if your hobbies or skills are not relevant to the job you’re applying for, then there just isn’t any room for them on your resume.
See Also: What is the Ideal Resume Length?
Do you have a one, two, or three-page resume? Do you have any advice you’d like to give regarding resume length? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comments section below!