There’s a bit of conventional wisdom out there about how long a resume should be. Many career advisers, resume writing books and websites, and even some blogs suggest that people should keep their resume to one single page. Job seekers shrink their font sizes, decrease their margins, and use other tricks to try and force their resume to meet this rule. In my humble, yet professional, opinion – it is okay to have a two or three page resume. It’s what you do with that resume that really counts.
There is a real benefit to a one-page resume. You see, when we post a job opening, chances are we will get dozens and dozens of resumes – big companies in metro areas may get hundreds and hundreds! This leaves those of us screening resumes very little time to invest in deeply reading each applicant’s resume.
When we screen resumes, we do what comes natural – start at the top and work our way down. Now, if we get half way through page one and find nothing of interest – we’ll probably stop looking at that particular resume and will move on to the next one. The more concise your resume is, the more likely the aspects of your resume that you want to stand out will.
So, is it okay to have a two or three page resume? Yes, but make sure on page one, and early on page one for that matter, you highlight the most pertinent information for the job for which you are applying. One way to do this is to include a “summary of qualifications” or a “summary of achievements” as one of the first sections of your resume. If all the good stuff is buried on page two, I can assure you it will never get read if there is nothing to excite the person reviewing your resume on page one.