You’ve probably heard it time and again: a two-page resume is the gold standard for most jobs. After all, anyone with experience should need a couple of pages to showcase their qualifications, right? If only it were that simple. The truth is that your resume’s length should depend on a variety of factors. Moreover, your goal should always be to keep your resume as short as humanly possible. The key is to know when to use a one page resume, and when to rely on the more standard two page variety.
The answer to this seemingly simple question may not be as obvious as some imagine. Anyone who has ever sat down to write a resume understands that the process can quickly get out of hand. For workers with any serious amount of experience, that resume seems to expand of its own accord. Add in your skills, education, and other details, and you soon find yourself fighting to limit it to two pages. As a result, it’s easy to assume that resumes should always be two page documents.
Why? Well, the fact is that most employers must sift through dozens or even hundreds of resumes to fill a position. It’s only natural that they would prefer shorter, more focused resumes. Obviously, shorter resumes translates into an easier selection process for them.
Since your goal should be to give employers what they want to see, shorter is typically better. If possible, you should try to limit your resume to a single page. At the same time, however, it’s important to remember that quality matters more than quantity. In fact, there are many times when a one page resume simply cannot meet your needs.
Also, remember that most companies today use an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to automatically screen your resume. These systems automatically screen your resume to see if you’re a good match for the position. An average of 75% of candidates are rejected by ATS and many time the candidate is qualified but the resume isn’t optimized.
Make sure that you use a standard resume format so that the ATS could easily read the resume. You should also include keywords (hard skills) that are relevant to the position.
A one page resume offers many benefits, despite its limited length. For example:
There can, however, be drawbacks to using a one page resume. Obviously, any job that calls for a great deal of experience is likely going to require a two-page resume. Of course, if you’re a seasoned employee, your relevant experiences probably won’t fit on one page. That’s especially true for candidates seeking managerial posts or other leadership positions.
In most instances, resumes end up being longer than they need to be. Unfortunately, an unnecessarily long resume can cause the reader to lose interest. The good news is that most resumes can be shortened with a little practice. The following tips can help you to reduce the length of your resume and make it clearer and more concise.
Of course, if you find that the job description requires you to include more information than you can fit in one page, then don’t try to square that circle. While shorter resumes are preferred, you should always feel free to use a two page resume whenever it’s more appropriate.
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