Should Resume Be One Page?


Should resumes be one page? A resume expert explains

Job-seekers often get confused about the optimal resume length. You've probably heard the famous 'six second rule', according to which a resume has to be concise and sell the candidate in mere seconds. However, in certain cases a single page resume is simply not enough - and can jeopardize your interview chances. In today's article, our resume consultant is going to reveal when to use a traditional one-page resume. We will also explain when it's reasonable to use a two- or three-page document. Read here about handwritten resume. Looking for a first resume guide? Check here!

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Statistics on one- and two-page resumes

Before we get down to determining perfect resume length for each particular situation, let's take a look at the situation in general. Companies receive 250+ resumes for each advertised job posting. Out of this amount, only up to six candidates get interviews. Therefore, to get shortlisted, you have to submit a strong resume aligned with the job description.

Speaking of length, hiring managers are 1.4x more likely to choose a candidate with a two-page resume. Can my resume be 1.5 pages? Obviously, to many recruiters, two pages signify a more experienced, more skilled applicant.

Number of words matters as well. As stated by another research, the optimal word count is up to 600 words. This highlights the importance of cutting off the unnecessary despite the page count.

These quick findings suggest that using a two-page resume is okay, but you need to watch the word count to keep it focused. Next, we'll look at how many pages should every candidate use, depending on the state of their career.

When is a one-page resume your ideal choice?

Hiring manager will appreciate a short resume if:

  • You are a college graduate with limited experience related to your target job
  • You are a career switcher (say, from teaching to IT) and your previous experience has nothing to do with the new industry
  • You have under 10 years of experience or up to 4 employers.

This is a resume of a Digital Marketing Specialist with 4 years' experience. The candidate had three jobs, so using a two-page resume is unnecessary. Despite being short, this resume is informative enough about the candidate's strengths, work history and education.

A two-page resume is optimal when:

  • You are a college graduate with several internships, summer jobs, or extracurricular activities that provided you with relevant skills
  • Your job requires narrow technical or industry-specific skills, and candidates without these skills are not even considered for the role
  • You have 10+ years of experience in the given industry under your belt
  • You are a C-level manager with a broad list of achievements, projects managed, and wide organizational impact
  • Your field appreciates specialized training, licences, academic publications and achievements.

Here's a perfect resume template that is 2 pages long:

This is a resume of an experienced senior-level professional, Head of Marketing. The resume is focused on relevant experience only and shows career progression. More imporantly, it emphasizes accomplishments, which is crucial for senior professionals.

As you see, there's no universal answer to "Should resume be one page?" If you have an extensive career history, an impressive list of skills and certifications, the second page is perfectly excused. On the flip side, job applicants should not pack the resume with unimportant facts just to make it longer. If you've been on the job market for a couple of years, having only one page is fine.

When to use a three-page or longer resume?

Some jobs require application with a curriculum vitae - a multiple page document that contains information about your education, employment and research. A CV can take five or even ten pages, and the more is better. When it doubt, clarify with your employer if they expect a resume or a CV.

Is a 1.5 page resume acceptable?

According to resume consultants and certified professional resume writer, it's no recommended to leave the half of the second page empty. It can leave an impression that you stopped halfway in writing. Change the font and formatting, so that the text takes one or two full pages - it will make a better visual impression on most hiring managers.

How to fit your resume into one page?

Disclaimer: we do not state that one-page resume is a must. However, if you feel that your document lacks focus, or if the recruiters recommend shortening it, you might want to reconsider the content. Below, we will give the recommendations about what to remove to keep the paper informative for potential employer.

Remove the unnecessary sections

Experts recommend that you delete old or irrelevant jobs, education, and training. If you don't have much experience relevant to your job target, simply list the skills you have acquired in various jobs to save space.

The same goes for "References available upon request". This statement is dated and says nothing to the hiring manager.

Cut down the bullet points

If you have worked in the same industry, you might notice that some bullets with responsibilities look very similar. You can cut down similar responsibilities for different employers to avoid duplication and to prevent wasting precious space. Mention a specific job responsibility once, and then focus on those that add the extra information.

Also, to avoid sounding repetitive, focus on results over job duties. They may include awards, recommendations, or measurable accomplishments in a specific role.

Keep the resume summary concise

Career summary is a helpful section that quickly introduces your selling points to the employer. However, many job-seekers write long paragraps that take a lot of space. In fact, 2-3 sentences are enough to introduce you to the company and show what you excel at.

Focus on relevant job experience

To prioritize your work history and choose the most important facts for your target position, make a master list of your credentials and achievements. Only include those that are directly related to the position you are applying for.

Speaking of education, if you got at least Associate's degree, high school diploma is no longer relevant. Similarly, if you have 5+ years of experience, remove the college coursework and extracurricular activities as employer mind your work history at this point.

List contact details in one line

One line after your name is enough to place your location, email, and a cell number. No need to start each of them in a separate line. This simple trick is very helpful in creating a one-page resume.


Include relevant information when listing leadership experience

No need to describe all summer jobs, trainings, extracurricular activities, and awards, especially if they are irrelevant. If you were in leadership roles as a volunteer, for example, you can place them along with work experience. List your responsibilities in the same way as you describe paid employment.

Adjust spacing between the lines

Review the formatting options and, if necessary, manually change the line spacing so that the text fits into one page. This can save a lot of precious space. Yet, don't set too little spacing - after all, the text should be easy to read.

Make sure that bullets are formatted consistently in the document. Bulleted lists that have different idents give an instant impression of sloppiness and carelessness.

Customize the margins

Microsoft Word has many options for margins. To make a one-page resume, you might want to set them at 0.5". Again, margins should look consistent.


Use fonts wisely

Use a larger font for your name and use bold feature, as your name is expected to 'pop' at the top of the resume. To optimize the use of space, you might opt for a narrower font style, for instance, Arial Narrow, to visually clean up the look of the resume. Resume experts recommend keeping the font size between 10 and 12 pts, so that it's easy to read.

On the internet, there is a variety of ready one-page resume templates, but be careful with them. Not all templates open correctly with ATS. The safer and more effective option is to get your resume manually edited and formatted by a resume consultant. You can order this service on our website.

Write short, concise sentences

Clear and concise writing not only fosters communication, but also helps save the space. Omit the technical details of your job duties - you can tell them to the interiewer in person. Also, avoid lengthy sentences, remove unnecessary and redundant words and phrases.

Strengthening your resume: General tips

  • Include at least one accomplishment for each role. Hiring managers will evaluate you based on achievements. Show your ability to make the difference for the company.
  • Use a Skills section. Focus on 8-15 skills that are most important for your target role. Skills quickly grasp the reader's attention and serve as keywords for ATS.
  • Proofread before sending. 59% of recruiters will reject a resume with typos and mistakes. Use an online spell checker or hire a professional editor to check the text for you.
  • Add a relevant cover letter. 45% of recruiters reject resumes that don't have a matching letter. With a letter, you'll boost your chances to be considered for a job opening.

To sum things up, one-page resumes are ideal for people with limited experience and career switchers. Professionals with 10+ years of work history, people who changed jobs frequently and senior executives should use a two-page resume. Yet, every career is unique; if in doubt, it's best to talk to a resume consultant to find out the right length for you.

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