Two page or 1 page resume?
I hear this question all the time. 1-page resume? 2-pages? I don’t know where it comes from, but there is a school of thought out there that resume’s shouldn’t be more than one page long. Let me answer it by simply saying this:
If Leonardo Di Vinci and Albert Einstein both applied with a 5-page resume would I read the entire document? Absolutely. These documents would be interesting, relevant, and just plain “bad ass”. Could they possibly fit all their accomplishments on one page? Highly doubtful. When you apply for the position of Renaissance Man or Genius, you are going to have some shit to list.
If you are applying for an entry-level position, I don’t expect to see 3-4 pages. If you have 3-4 pages worth of accomplishments, you are overqualified and that is a ding against you. Asking a recruiter or hiring manager to read 3-4 pages for an entry-level position is a daunting task. I am in the mood for fewer pages.
Most of us are not going to have more than a few pages, but the point is that if what you have to say is interesting, and more importantly, if it is relevant to the position, then list it.
Most of us are going to be hired for our experience in the last 3-5 years. If you have 20 years of experience, you are probably not going to be hired for what you did in the first 5-10 years of your career.
The way to balance this is to make sure that you fill entire pages. 1.25 pages or 1.75 pages is not good. What I see when I look at blank space on a resume is two-fold.
- First, the document is not balanced when there is empty space (subconscious score).
- Second and more importantly, you just said “I have the opportunity to tell you what I have accomplished but chose to leave it blank. The only conclusion I can come to is that you “got nothin”, or you are lazy.
If you are at 1.25 pages, widen the margins, top, bottom, and side and change the font and font size if needed to shrink it down to a 1-page resume. If you are at 1.75 pages, then do the opposite. Fill two pages!!! 1.75 pages is not good.
I have seen great resumes that are two pages long from folks that are still in school and 1 page resumes from folks working for 5 years or more. Just think quality, not quantity.
If you are going to list a number of years of experience one way you can keep the illusion of progression and related experience to your experience is by having the most number of bullet points for your most recent experience and the least amount of bullet points for the earliest experience listed. So if you have 4 jobs over the past 10 years, you may have 6-8 bullet points for your most recent experience and you may only have 2-3 bullet points for your first 2 jobs. Remember, you probably are not going to be hired for your earliest work experience so don’t waste that space with useless information.
I don’t think it makes a difference in the number of pages. I do think it makes a difference in the quality of the content.
nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.