How Long Should a Resume Be? One Page Resume vs Two Page

How many pages should a resume be? One page resume vs two page resume. Get the answer to how long should a resume be with expert tips to shorten yours.

Tom Gerencer
Tom Gerencer
How Long Should a Resume Be? One Page Resume vs Two Page

One page resume? Two page resume?

 

How long should a resume be?

 

Here’s the problem:

 

Resume Length is...Hiring Manager Thinks...
One-page resumeHmm... inexperienced.
2-page resumeHmm... Too wordy.

Don’t panic.

 

There’s an easy answer to the resume length dilemma.

 

It depends on your experience.

 

This guide will show you:

  • Definite answer to the nagging How long should my resume be? question.
  • One page resume templates you can use.
  • When to use a 2-page resume.
  • How to make a resume one page.

 

Resume Length

 

How long should a resume be?

 

Here’s the answer to one-page resume vs 2-page resume.

 

Want more detail? Scroll down for more resume length info and tips.

 

QuestionAnswer
How long should a resume be?1 page for most.
How many pages should a resume be?1 page–2 pages+ for the very experienced.
How far back should a resume go?A bit further than the job offer says.
Should a resume be one page?Yes—if you have <6 years of experience.
Can a resume be 2 pages?Yes—if you have lots of experience/projects.
Does a resume have to be one page?No—but employers like the readability.
How long can a resume be?Up to 10 pages for a federal resume.
Should my resume be one page?Yes—unless you've got tons of "wow" achievements.
Can a resume be more than one page?Yes—if your accomplishments don't fit 1 page.

1. How Long Should a Resume Be?

 

The answer to how long can a resume be in 2019 is:

 

Write a one-page resume if you’ve got less than 6 years of experience.

 

Write a 2-page resume if you’ve got 7–10+ years of experience. Longer resumes are fine for lots of achievements—like if you’re an artist or a project manager.

 

How many pages should a resume be?

 

A resume should be one page or two. Got too many impressive achievements that match the job opening for a 1-page resume? Then write a two-page resume.

 

If you can fit everything that makes the manager say “wow” on a single page, write a one page resume.

 

Should a resume be one page?

 

Resumes don’t have to be one page. Think who you’re up against. If you’ve got accomplishments that’ll blow the manager away, don’t cut them.

 

That said, most managers spend six seconds reading resumes. If you can stuff all your goodies in a single page resume, do it. Most resumes shouldn’t be 3 pages.

 

Can a resume be 2 pages?

 

A resume can be two pages. The one-page resume isn’t a commandment. In fact, in a field with lots of experienced candidates, a 1-page resume can look weak.

 

If most applicants for the job have 6+ years of experience, you shouldn’t write a one page resume.

 

How long can a resume be?

 

Resumes can be 10 or even 20 pages. Who writes resumes that long? Federal job applicants. They routinely write 5-page resumes and sometimes longer.

 

Most job applicants can make their case in a single-page resume, 2-page resume, or 3-page resume at most.

 

One or Two Page Resume in 2019?

 

In 2019, it’s easier to get away with a two-page resume or 3-page resume. That’s because the old short-resume rule has changed.

 

In ancient times, we used paper and fax machines. Pages 2 and 3 could wind up under the office furniture. With email resumes, that won’t happen.

 

How Long Should a College Resume Be?

 

A resume for college should be one page. Do you have so many mind-altering achievements you can’t fit them in a 1-page resume? Then write a two-page resume.

Expert Hint: If you’re in a field where lots of experience makes you more attractive, write a 2 or 3-page resume. Just keep it relevant and focus on accomplishments.

2. One Page Resume—The Gold Standard

 

Now you know the answer to how long should a resume be.

 

But how to make a resume one page?

 

Don’t have 10 years of experience?

 

Don’t have 50 unique accomplishments you absolutely have to share?

 

Then don’t write a two-page resume. Cut it to a one-page resume instead.

 

Here’s how:

  • Tailor your resume to the job. To save space, mercilessly cut anything that doesn’t fit this job opening.
  • Write fewer, shorter bullet points. Making 3–5 bullet points per job is a space-saver. So is limiting them to 1–2 lines each.
  • Stick to what’s impressive. Don’t say everything about your work history. Commit to a set amount of space. Then fill it with your best achievements.
  • Don’t send MS Word resume templates. The best one page resume in Word format can turn to a 2-page resume when you email it.
  • Use margins, right fonts, and line spacing to shorten your resume. But there’s a limit. Overdoing it will make your resume hard to read.
  • How many bullet points per job? Resumes should list 3–5 bullet points per job. A resume with more looks cluttered. Less looks weak.
  • Leave off references. Everyone knows they’re available on request. Cut them if they make your resume two pages.
  • Write a shorter qualifications summary. Stick to 3 lines as a resume space-saver.

 

To write a 1-page resume, you can also cut the street address, high school, and old or irrelevant jobs. Those can make your resume 2 pages.

Expert Hint: If your 2-page resume is less than 1.5 pages, cut it. Stay tuned for tips to make it a single-page resume without losing horsepower.

3. When to Write a Two Page Resume

 

Can a resume be two pages in 2019?

 

Yep.

 

Two-page resumes are increasingly more common.

 

Two reasons:

  • Most employers use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Those don’t ask “how long should a resume be?”
  • A longer resume can fit more keywords. That’s a plus when ATS comes calling.
  • Compared to one-page resumes, 2-page resumes signal more experience and skill.

 

But when can resumes be two pages?

 

When you can’t cut them without hurting your message.

 

That means—

 

When you’ve got lots of experience or projects.

 

These jobs beg for 2 or 3-page resumes:

Expert Hint: The 2-page resume format is the same as one page resume format. Just put your contact info on both pages.

4. One Page Resume Templates

 

Just need one-page resume templates?

 

Feast your eyes. These one page resume examples will get you up and running fast.

 

1. Light One Page Resume Template

 

light resume template

 

The Light Resume Template by Gilang Tito Dharmawan at Behance is simple, spare, and inviting. It’s a one-page resume template that draws the reader in and promises quick access to pertinent info.

 

The link is here.

 

2. Eye-Catching One Page Resume Template

 

one page resume template

 

This simple, professional one-page resume template is by ikono. It’s clean, easy-to-read, and uses graphics in an unobtrusive way. The great call to action in this single-page resume template adds extra oomph.

 

The link is here.

 

3. Modern One Page Resume Template

 

modern resume template

 

Need a simple, friendly MS Word one page resume template? Try the Modern Resume Template for sale on Etsy. The dark headings and dividers make your 1-page resume easy on the eyes. The dark heading makes it pop.

 

The link is here.

 

4. Simple Professional One Page Resume Template

 

simple resume template

 

This Simple Professional Resume Template and CV Template is straightforward and effective. It uses design to stand out in a good way. Like the Modern one-page resume template above, it’s divided for easy readings, with attention-getting headings. The big name and dark heading give it oomph.

 

The link is here.

 

5. Spare One Page Resume Template

 

spare resume template

 

Just want a bare-bones one page resume template that feels like a breath of fresh air? The Emma single-page resume template on Etsy conveys professionalism and efficiency. It’s eye-friendly, but dodges flashy extras to get the job done.

 

The link is here.

Expert Hint: If you build your 1-page resume in Word, save it as a PDF. They’re machine readable in 2019 and don’t lose their formatting once you send them.

Key Points:

 

Here’s a recap for how long to make a resume:

  • How long should a resume be? Make a 1-page resume for 0–5 years of experience. Create a 2-page resume if you’ve got skyscrapers of achievements.
  • Write a one-page resume if you’re entry-level or applying for college. Also write a single-page resume if you’ve got less than six years of experience.
  • Write a two-page resume if shortening would cut key accomplishments that fit the job.
  • If you’re in a field like marketing or project management, consider multiple page resumes. Showing more projects can prove your worth.

 

Still wondering how long should my resume be? Need advice for how to shorten a resume to one page? Leave a comment. We’d be happy to reply!

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Tom Gerencer
Tom Gerencer
Career Writer at ResumeLab
Tom Gerencer is a career advice writer and a resume expert at ResumeLab. Tom has been featured on BBC News, NBC, The Economist, Business Insider, Fast Company, and dozens of other outlets. His insights, commentary, and articles reach over a million readers every month. With inside knowledge of key industry players and in-depth research, Tom helps job seekers with advice across all professions and career stages. Tom holds a degree in English from Colby College.

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