Résumé Building: One Page or Two?

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When it comes to résumés, most experts recommend keeping things to one page. The theory behind that is simple: Recruiters and HR staffers have only a very limited amount of time to scan a lot of résumés in the course of a given day, and anything that runs longer than a page risks being tossed aside as too lengthy.

Driven by the one-page rule to squeeze as many accomplishments as possible into a limited space, candidates will do everything from shrink fonts to barely-legible sizes, to deleting massive swaths of their work history. That’s ultimately not in the candidate’s interest, especially if it results in impressive accomplishments sliced away solely in the name of keeping things to one page.

In other words, there are circumstances in which a candidate can submit a two- or three-page résumé. Mid-career engineers, managers, and others who’ve supervised large and successful projects may consider adding a second page to their résumé that lists their most impressive accomplishments, along with more in-depth information about individual initiatives.

But even if you add a second page, remember to keep things as succinct as possible. Doubling the available white space isn’t an excuse to add unnecessary fat—it’s a way for the experienced tech pro to list what’s necessary without taking the font size down to four.

Image Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com

Comments

7 Responses to “Résumé Building: One Page or Two?”

October 06, 2015 at 4:39 pm, John said:

A 1 page resume? Seriously? I’ve been told by multiple HR types that my one and a half page resume which outlines 7 years of experience relevant to the job I am looking for is not long enough and they demand I add entry level call center jobs I did 10+ years ago which has nothing to do with my current career path before they’ll submit it to the hiring manger.

I don’t because it is a waste of my time and the hiring mangers time. It also tells me the company’s HR department likes to play time wasting games and is not a company I want to work for.

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October 06, 2015 at 4:58 pm, Robert said:

I read these types of recommendations all the time and scratch my head. I haven’t had a resume that short since high school….I just cut down my resume from 12 to 5 pages for a graduate school application, the longest I have ever looked for a job was 3 weeks years and years ago. Are you really sure that 1-2 pages is really the best approach?

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October 07, 2015 at 8:37 am, OnTheDwnLow said:

More unrealistic and poor advice from dice.com Should you stop and read these ‘articles’ long enough, you’ll see a pattern. This ‘1 page’ resume is simply not the case in the current real world, unless perhaps you are just starting out at best.

Peace.

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October 07, 2015 at 6:32 pm, Steve said:

1. I think that if you are going to be attending a job fair, you will be one of many people standing in many lines in the room for the opportunity to speak briefly with a representative with that company. That representative likely isn’t going to spend much time per-resume and lengthy resumes may not get glanced at beyond the first page or two.

2. If you know your resume is going to be machine-scanned i.e. they want you to submit the resume as a plain-text file, then length doesn’t really matter. The scanner doesn’t care.

3. I spent many of my young-adult years obtaining an associate degree in electronics, working for various electronics companies doing circuit design, circuit board design, assembly language programming, and a lot of hands-on bench work. One day I found out I was ‘unemployable’ because of my ‘lack of bachelor’s degree in anything’. I went back to school full time, received a B.S. in Computer Science, and my first resume after graduation included my previous employment in electronics. I received a lot of responses from employers wanting to interview me for electronics positions because now my resume was saying I had a B.S…..they couldn’t figure out that the B.S. didn’t apply to their position in electrical engineering, or that my hardware design background was extremely obsolete….they just saw the B.S. and the graduation date. At that point, I stopped including work history from before the degree.

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October 08, 2015 at 7:27 am, Lacer K said:

I thought that the trend now is to scan these piles of resumes through software, more keywords get the attention of software. One page resume is a Legacy of back office manual work with paper and pencil.

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October 10, 2015 at 11:01 am, sanjiv said:

One page Resume is a joke. As an interviewer myself, I am highly unlikely to consider a resume with 7 to 20 year experience to be anything less than 2 to 3 pages.. On the other hand I think a 15 page Resume is also too long. IMHO 3 to 7 page Resume is a good size for a 7+ years experienced candidate

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October 29, 2015 at 8:57 am, Emma sadberry said:

Sooooo if you only have experience & skills as someone with a few years worth of different electronic and design trades, and no bachelor’s degree….how do you even make yourself marketable? I’ve been only able to land interviews for entry level jobs for the last 4-6 years. I JUST upgraded my resume to 2 pages for the last year and a half. And have only gotten a little bit quicker response time than before. Could I paralyzing my career for my future employment….?

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