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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.

 

Should a Resume Be One Page?

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.

Think again.

According to some surveys, roughly half of all employers prefer resumes that are only one page in length.

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.

 

ATS Resume Test 

You can see how your resume performs in an actual ATS scan with our Free Resume Review:

Free Resume Review

 

 

Benefits of a One Page Resume

A one page resume offers many benefits, despite its limited length. For example:

  • Properly done, a one page resume offers a concise, focused showcase of your qualification
  • One page resumes are more accessible, and offer greater clarity
  • A one page resume can stand out in a crow littered with longer, less-focused resumes

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.

 

One page resume 2

 

Tips for Keeping Your Resume as Short as Possible

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.

  • Focus only on relevant experience, skills, and achievements. Resist the urge to include everything you’ve ever done.
  • Use bullet points. Most hiring managers skim resumes in only a few seconds. Bullet points offer an easier way for them to digest key details.
  • Shorten your education section with just a few bullet points. The only exception is if you are just entering the workforce.
  • Limit your summary to no more than 5 lines of text.
  • Job descriptions are less important than measurable achievements at a job.
  • Skip the references, interests, volunteer work, hobbies, and other information.
  • Adjust font size and margins, within reason.

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.

 

One Page Resume Example:

Example of a US resume format

 

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