General Question

occ's avatar

is it acceptable for a resume to be more than one page long?

Asked by occ (4080points) August 15th, 2007

I'm 28 years old and have held various positions ranging from publicist to radio producer to political campaigner. I could pick just the best stuff and leave it at one page. But I feel like there is more that could be told about my skills and experience, which would flow onto two pages. However, I have been told that it can seem pompous for someone my age to have a two-page resume. Thoughts?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

16 Answers

kevbo's avatar

I'd say pick the best stuff and let it be whatever length it is. I've never been in a hiring position, but I'd guess most employers are more concerned about the content than the form. I think the worst that could happen is that they'd ignore the second page.

bob's avatar

The one-page rule no longer applies.

Fortune: http://money.cnn.com/2007/03/28/news/economy/resume.fortune/index.htm
Blue Sky: http://www.blueskyresumesblog.com/2006/11/the_myth_of_the.html
"No one ever rejected a resume because it was two pages long - and if they did, you wouldn't want to work for them anyway, because it would make no sense"

Now that companies are dealing with electronic resumes, the one-page rule is much less relevant. I don't know whether it was every a steadfast rule, except for people coming straight out of college who don't have much experience. The same rules don't apply to you.

If you have lots of experience, don't be shy about showing it. This is your resume -- it's the most appropriate place to brag about yourself.

TruMobius's avatar

In general yes it is inadvisable to go beyond a page for a resume.
For a couple of reasons
A) Most resumes should only cover highlights and or the last 5 years of work

B) The second page does get lost more often than you would think...as a resume passes many hands before even an interview

C) One page is just cleaner, it shows that you are not over stuffing your abilities. This goes double for a creative position...form always follows function in terms of creative communication

helena's avatar

Hi occ,
What format are you using for your resume? I like skills-based resumes a lot (as opposed to straight historical resumes). They tend to be shorter and cleaner. I think it's a good format for the journeywomen and men among us who have a broad set of skills. I think it's good to use key words and high-impact language. Resume scanners and websites (and even humans!) love them.

Anecdotally, I saw the resume of a collaborator who is 57. He has a PhD in economics, MD in general medicine and is an entrepreneur. His resume? It's 1 page long!

If you're working on your CV, though, the longer the better!!

Good luck on your job search!

figbash's avatar

I agree with Bob on this one and have experienced the same thing in my field. Two is okay these days. At this point, most companies just scan in your resume anyway or look at it in an email attachment.

If you feel really, really compelled to get it onto one page, you cando some really creative things with tables and margins to fit it all in.

What I would do first is get all of your relevant skills down and then have a few people look at it to tell you what to take out. Some of the things you put down may be important to you, but may not have a whole lot of thump with a prospective employer and you can just speak to them during the interview. Very high-level job applicants can whittle it down to one page, because the title CEO really says it all, but those working their way up in the chain have a collective bunch of small exposures that need to be woven together.

Also, given your background, the type of job you're applying for, as well as the job description, should dictate what you choose to include.

mdy's avatar

If you are making a generic resume, then yes, I agree that it can be hard to make one that fits in one page. Since it's generic, it's tough to figure out what to highlight, and we often feel compelled to try to cover everything in that one page because we don't know what little tidbit might be important.

However, if you are making a resume for a specific job or position, I think it's possible to make the resume fit in one page, because you can now tailor the contents of that one page to just the things that are relevant or valuable to the position you're trying to get.

It might also help to keep in mind that the purpose of the resume is to get them to call you for an interview. The resume is not supposed to convince them to hire you. You simply want to pique their interest. So the shorter and more readable the resume is, the better your chances are, IMHO.

Having said all this, one way to work-around the one-page limitation is to have an online resume (on your own blog or a site like LinkedIn) where you have an exhaustive job history. You can put that link in your one-page resume so that people who want to know more about you can get the details. Just make sure that the long version clearly ties into the main points of your one page resume.

Hope that helps.

zain's avatar

To rehash the previous comments a bit, the one-page rule isn't really a hard, literal rule. The idea is that your resume should be brief and relevant enough so that someone who spends ten seconds on it has enough information to be impressed.

mdy's avatar

You might also pick up a few gems from this Mahalo page:
How to Write a Resume.

It's very well written and has links to more resume-writing resources.

Response moderated (Spam)
manahouri's avatar

Yes.

The above poster is wrong. In professional fields, I’ve never seen a one-page CV. Maybe if you’re a housepainter or mover or restaurant worker.

Most important thing about a CV is that it is LEGIBLE. Don’t use tiny fonts, don’t cram words and lines together, use space and indentations to guide the reader’s eyes. People who don’t have fighter pilots’ eyes resent having to squint and strain to read a CV, and if they do, they will likely throw it into the ‘No’ pile.

manahouri's avatar

BTW, arrange your CV according to the skills and the job position: if you’re applying for a media position, put your radio experience first; if you’re applying for a political campaigning position, put that experience first. 2 pages is fine, but make sure the thing is ready for a quick skim over only 1 page.

Response moderated (Spam)
bw's avatar

Of course it depends on the industry, but in general, you have to have an awesome resume that’d brilliantly designed and on some nice thick paper for me to even consider reading to the second page. Keep it simple. Make me want to read to the next page and I will.

cwilbur's avatar

I’ve actually been interviewing people at work lately, and so I’ve got a take on this from the other side.

A resume needs to be long enough but not too long. For someone coming right out of college, more than one page is almost certainly plenty. More than two pages, unless you’re a professional at the top of your field, will seem like it’s been padded out to look impressive.

What I want to know from a resume when I’m about to interview someone: where and how was this person educated? what jobs has he had? what sort of tasks did he have at those jobs that would be relevant to this job? Are there gaps of unemployment at unusual times?

One of the best resumes I’ve seen recently was for a man applying for a programmer position. He had a lot of system administrator experence, and a few unrelated jobs. His resume was two pages long, and it had obviously been tailored to this job: every job mentioned his duties in a very condensed format, and then highlighted the things he did at that job that demonstrated skills relevant to the position he was applying for. Jobs that had no relevance were mentioned briefly with a one-line summary. If he had put everything in for every job, it could have been a four- or five-page resume; as it was, it was a beautiful summary, gave me a lot to talk about in the interview, and showed a very fine attention to detail and an awareness of what our requirements were.

And by the time I see a resume, it’s been photocopied; brilliant design is less important than clear legibility, and the paper it’s on is irrelevant because it’s in the applicant’s file and not on my desk.

jackfright's avatar

having more than 1 page is fine, just make sure your most impressive list is on the front.
i’m guilty of not bothering with the 2nd page if i dont see anything impressive on the first.

Response moderated (Spam)

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther