Can your resume be two pages?

Gianna Van Heel
Can your resume be two pages?

We explain when to stick to a one-page resume and when it's appropriate to expand

If you’re updating your resume and struggling to fit all of the information onto one page, you may be asking whether a resume can be two to three pages long.

The annoying answer: it depends!

However, always keep in mind that recruiters and hiring managers don’t have a lot of time to spend on each resume that winds up on their desk.

Who should write a one-page resume

If you are early in your career and hold less than 7-10 years of experience, we strongly recommend sticking to one page.

At this stage, your goal should be to express your qualifications for the role as concisely and convincingly as possible.

While it can be difficult to fit all the information you may want to include on one sheet of paper, remember that your resume is intended to serve as a highlight reel of your career and accomplishments.

It shouldn’t outline all of your experience and every single thing you did on the job in extensive detail.

When to transition to a two-page resume

You should think about crafting a two-page resume if you:

  • Have at least 7-10 years of experience
  • Are a C-level executive
  • Need to describe numerous roles (such as short-term contract positions)

In these cases, your resume can be two pages long, but we generally don’t advise submitting a document any longer than that (even for C-suite executives we work with).

An executive resume can also include additional sections that an early career professional’s resume would not.

For example, if you are at the senior level or have varied experiences you would like to tie together around a common theme, you can consider including a Career Highlights or Key Expertise section at the beginning of your resume.

An entry-level professional, on the other hand, would jump right into their work experience section.

Even with a two-page resume, remember to keep your language direct and cut out fluff wherever possible.

Your document should be achievement-based, showcasing the value you brought to each organization you worked with.

You should always tailor your resume to the specific roles you’re applying for.

Remember to be selective regarding which professional experiences you discuss and in how much detail as well.

Early experiences, especially if they are less relevant to your current field or took place decades ago, can be cut out, giving you more space to flesh out your current and most recent roles.


About the AuthorGianna Van Heel

Gianna Van Heel is a Consultant at Resume Pilots, where she leverages her interest in language and experience as a published researcher and translater to serve clients in a variety of industries.

Previously, she worked in marketing and program management for a boutique international tour operator in Washington, D.C.

Gianna graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Italian literature and philosophy.

Related Articles

How to Handle a Zoom Interview During Coronavirus
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, recruitment hasn't stopped completely. Many companies are simply shifting to virtual interviews. Here are our top tips for how to prepare for a Zoom interview.
Read More
How to Optimize Your Resume and LinkedIn For a Career Switch
If you're looking to make a significant career switch, implement these tips to help you optimize your resume and LinkedIn. Jumping from Finance to HR or from marketing to journalism, for example, can be a challenge. With the right strategy, you can maximize your odds of a smooth career transition.
Read More
How To List Online Courses on Resume & 5 Reasons You Should
Mentioning online courses on your resume can help get your foot in the door, whether you're looking to grow in your field or switch careers. Learn how to strategically choose online courses that match your career objectives and which online course providers to consider.
Read More