Can Your Resume Be Over One Page?

Written by on May 23, 2013 in Career - No comments | Print this page

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can_your_resume_be_over_one_page1I have a friend who insists that he needs to have a multiple page resume.

It’s two long pages, and it used to be four pages long until I got him to cut some things.

I have tried to convince him time and again that it is time to cut his resume some more, but he is insistent on keeping it at two pages.

Why to keep your resume at one page

Unfortunately, I fear that he may be losing some job opportunities because his resume is too long, and does not need to be when it comes to his profession, as career expert Jennifer Brooks tells Monster.com, saying that  “ideally, your resume should be one page, because recruiters and managers have short attention spans.”

Brooks notes that “it’s your ad; it doesn’t have to be comprehensive.” She says that “If you feel the need to write down everything you’ve done in your entire career, you’re not thinking about the buyer, who just needs to know what’s relevant.”

Here’s the thing – the resume may be about you, but when you are submitting it for a job, it’s about your prospective employer, or the “buyer,” as Brooks calls it.

And employers don’t want to wade through pages and pages of minutia to see your job skills. If you come across as long-winded in your resume, the prospective employer could feat that you could be that long-winded in real life


Besides, these days, most employers only want to see what is in your work history for the last 10 years or so. They don’t really care that you worked at McDonald’s when you were 16, unless you are applying to work at McDonald’s again. So in most cases, you should be able to get your resume on one page.

There are times to have a longer resume

While most resume and career coach experts say that you should have a one-page resumes, there may be times when you should have a longer resume. For example, if you work in academia, a curriculum vitae (also known as a CV) is the rough equivalent of a resume, but it adds much more detail.

The CV may be significantly longer to cover that classes you teach or have taken, the research projects you worked on, and the schools you have taught at. In addition, you will need to include publications you had work published in, academic honors, and listings of memberships you have in academic groups.

The standard CV is significantly longer than a resume, and that is accepted in the world of academia.

For those not in academia, you may be able to have more than a one-pages resume if your field, or individual situation, warrants it.

Career coach professionals say that the key to make the information organized in such a way that the reader can easily understand what is going on.

Putting a career summary at the top of the first page, using bullet points, and using bolds and italics, can help make the resume easier to read, even if it is two pages. To learn more about what career coach professionals advise, click here.

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Lisa Swan writes for a variety of executive, life and career coaching sites. She lives in New York City.

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