A lot of people believe that in order to be noticed by a recruiter or hiring manager they need a resume that is eye-catching and limited to one page. But the reality is most hiring managers would rather read a multi-page resume that is well-organized and easy to follow then a one page resume that is scattered and jammed full of information. A recent study showed that recruiters are 2.3 times more likely to prefer two page resumes over one page resumes regardless of the level of the position. It demonstrated that two page documents provided extra information which helped the recruiters make their decisions, even when it came to entry-level positions, though to a lesser degree.
So what does this mean for you? Does every resume need to be two pages?
The answer is no. Although the average resume can provide enough information within two pages, your resume should be as long as you need it to be to show how you are qualified for the job. For example, if you are new to the job market and have minimal experience to list on your resume, then you will probably be applying for lower level or entry type positions and will likely only have enough information to fill a one page resume. Trying to fill two pages with unrelated extracurricular activities and interests will only frustrate a recruiter. An example of a time in which a three to four page resume would be more suited to the position is if a candidate is applying for a senior level management or executive position. In this case the individual will likely hold many years of professional experience that are important to include in the document for the potential employer.
To further demonstrate the point that a one page resume is not always the best option watch this short video in which a recruiter at Sherret Inc. discusses some key ideas to keep in mind when compiling information for your resume.
It is important to note while on this topic that as a job hunter you should be cautious when using online templates to write a resume. Although there are many stunning and attractive templates that can be found online, there are some that can cause you to focus on the wrong aspects of the document. These templates tend to be one page resumes and can lead a job hunter to believe that the key to getting a job is to get noticed with a “pretty” and “eye-catching” resume and therefore often fail to focus on the actual content of the resume.
Although the average person would probably find that a two page document is sufficient in demonstrating how they fit a potential position this is not necessarily the best option for everyone. Applicants need to demonstrate how they fit a position without frustrating the person reading the resume with a lot of unnecessary information. As stated in previous blog posts, if the recruiter needs to hunt for the required information, they are more likely to toss your resume aside. So take your time and ensure that you have done the best you can to market yourself to the employer.