- On March 22, 2018 /
- In Graphics, WordPress
You’ve been there. You’re up late one-night trolling job boards and in between the travel and shoe ads the perfect job opportunity appears. You hear the heavenly hosts cheering you on as you rush to update your resume.
But before you add your latest and greatest skills and accomplishments, your brain interrupts with the job seeker debate: Should your resume 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 CV, but the current digital age (where CVs aren’t always submitted on paper anyway!) has blazed a trail of new options.
That said, there are a few good rules of thumb to consider when deciding if a +1 should accompany your CV.
When Quantity Equals Quality
As you evolve in your career, you’ll find that things that were once relevant on your resume 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 recognise 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 CV, then go for it.
Note: the keyword is relevant. This doesn’t mean you detail all your accomplishments since your high school being captain of your high school rugby team. It also doesn’t mean listing every college course you’ve taken and certification you’ve earned. If I’m going to read a resume 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 state 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 explain 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.
When Space Is No Longer an Option
Your content is impeccable. You’ve edited, downsized fonts, tweaked margins, and mangled text boxes to abide by the one-page golden rule. But unfortunately, space is no longer on your side.
As much as you have tried, sometimes you have to surrender and place your information on additional pages. This process is a double-edged sword in the sense that two little, and two much can kill your chances. The key is to only place content which is applicable to the audience who is reading it, trying to place yourself in their shoes, and take an educated guess as what they are looking for.
You know your industry and understand what may appeal to the reader. Try strike a balance but do not sell yourself short – that additional page might just get you that interview request…