You’ve been there. You’re up late one night trolling job boards and in between travel ads the perfect job opportunity appears. You hear the heavenly hosts cheering you on and rush to update your resumé.
But before you add your latest and greatest skills and accomplishments, your brain interrupts with the job seeker debate: Should your resumé be one page or two?
The answer, dear job seeker, is—it’s all subjective. Google this topic and you’ll get 100 different sources with 400 different pieces of advice. The truth is, we’ve been conditioned by the old-school tradition of the one page resumé. But the current digital age (where resumes aren’t always submitted on paper anyway!) has blazed a trail of new opinions.
That said, there are a few good rules of thumb to consider when deciding if a +1 should accompany your resumé.
When Quantity Equals Quality
As you evolve in your career, you’ll find that things that were once relevant on your resumé aren’t anymore. For example, if you’ve been in your career a few years or are changing careers, there’s no need to list every duty for every position. Learn to recognize when compromising the quantity of your experiences will impact the quality of your employment story. If you have enough relevant experience, training, and credentials pertaining to the position to showcase on more than one page of your resumé, then go for it.
Note: I said relevant. This doesn’t mean you detail all your accomplishments since your high school paper route. It also doesn’t mean listing every college course you’ve taken and certification you’ve earned. As a recruiter, I can tell you, if I’m going to read a resumé that’s more than one page, it better tell a good story about what you bring to the table. Listing every task you did as a manager doesn’t make you a good manager. But if you tell me that you increased productivity by 25% or highlight process changes for multiple teams at several companies—you’re justifying that space.
If you can succinctly quantify your accomplishments to tell how you made a role, job, project, or assignment better and you need more than one page to demonstrate it effectively, that’s time (and space) well spent.
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