This is one of those urban myths that really needs to be analyzed so that everyone can see how silly it is. No, your resume does NOT need to be on one page, and I don’t care what some recruiter(s) told you. I’m a Human Resources professional, and I can tell you that while 99.9% of the time, page length shouldn’t exceed 2 pages, reducing what should be a two page resume to one page does you no good. In fact, the “rule” about the one-page resume is long dead, as noted in Inc. Magazine.
Why did the concept of a one page resume come about in the first place? My guess is that hiring managers were tired of sifting through a lot of unnecessary stuff and wanted to see the candidate’s value proposition in a nutshell. That makes total sense, and that’s why I chop off all my clients’ job history that’s more than 15 years ago (although I may refer to it parenthetically, if it involved some great employer brands). I also feature a curated list of very specific accomplishments toward the top of the page to attract the reader’s attention, and motivate her or him to read on.
Now, if a resume happens to fit organically onto one page, fine. That’s almost always the case with recent graduates, and sometimes it works out that way even for more senior folks, especially if they’ve worked at only one or two companies.
But let’s say the resume doesn’t neatly fit onto one page. What can be done? Well, you could reduce the size of the font, and you could narrow the margins, and that can work if there was only an inch or so of text on page 2. But at some point, you’re left with a font that requires a magnifying glass in order to read it, and with margins so narrow that when printed out (which interviewers actually do), there is no room for notes (which interviewers actually take).
Here’s the thing – and I say this as someone who’s hired hundreds of people and read thousands of resumes – if what’s on page one resonates, I’ll read page two, and so will everyone else. To all those recruiters who insist on telling candidates that resumes need to be on one page, be honest; would you actually refuse to read a good resume if it was two pages? Of course you wouldn’t.
The trick is to make the top third of page one tell a compelling story, and that’s the art of resume writing.
So if you’re interested in having a resume that tells your story – and articulates your value proposition – ignore the one -page “rule,” and read about my process and pricing.