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Are 2-Page Resumes Acceptable? New Data Says Yes

By Maurie Backman - Jan 21, 2019 at 9:38AM

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Struggling to fit your work history onto a single page? Good news: You may not have to.

If you're in the market for a new job, you surely know that a solid resume is your ticket to making that happen. Your goal in drafting a resume should be to present a clear picture of your experience and skills, all the while highlighting the value you bring to the table. But if you've been in the workforce for quite some time, cramming all of that information onto a single page is easier said than done.

For years, job search professionals have been advising candidates to keep their resumes short and sweet -- and that generally means limiting yourself to a single page. Part of the logic is that since hiring managers and recruiters tend to scan resumes more so than read them, having that second page is likely to turn off the folks tasked with reviewing your application.

Woman holding up resume

Image source: Getty Images.

But a new study by ResumeGo, a professional resume writing service, drew the opposite conclusion -- that two-page resumes might actually give candidates an edge. Specifically, it found that recruiters were 2.3 times as likely to prefer two-page resumes to one-page resumes, and that they were willing to spend more time reading those longer resumes as well.

If you've been struggling to keep your resume to a single page, you might try expanding onto that second sheet and seeing what it does for you. It just might be your ticket to an interview and job offer.

The benefits of a longer resume

Your resume isn't supposed to serve as a career autobiography of sorts; rather, it's meant to function as a summary of your expertise. As such, one-page resumes have long been the standard, since you're generally expected to include only the most relevant information on that piece of paper.

But producing a longer resume can benefit you in a couple of ways. First, having more space means getting a better opportunity to showcase your skills. If you've held down a number of highly technical positions, for example, you'll want to showcase your knowledge of the various programs you've worked with and include as much detail as possible so that recruiters and hiring managers know what type of professional they're dealing with.

Another good reason to produce a two-page resume is that it automatically sends the message that you're an experienced worker. Of course, this assumes that your two pages are loaded with relevant information, as opposed to pure fluff, but if you're dealing with the former, recruiters and hiring managers will be able to easily identify you as a seasoned candidate.

That said, don't produce a two-pager just for the heck of it. You should remain judicious when determining what information will go on your resume and what's less important. But if you find that you really need that second page to tell your full story, then by all means, go for it, provided you don't exceed the two-page mark -- because while recruiters are clearly taking kindly to two-page resumes, once you enter three-page territory, all bets are off.

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