Back in the day when paper cost more than a one-fourth-of-one-cent per sheet, and e-mail was just a gleam in Bill Gates’ eye, professors at colleges and career counselors emphasized confining one’s resume to a single page. In the interest of brevity, simplicity, tree longevity? Who knows?
What I do know as a long-time headhunter is this. There is no reason to confine your resume to one page unless you have only one page of information to share with a potential employer. This might be true in the case of an entry level professional or an individual who has had a very short career or a single employer. If you have more than 10 years of experience or more than two job titles or employers, it is likely that it will require more than a single page to describe your experience in adequate detail.
And that’s okay. There is no one-page resume rule.
When someone tries to fit two or more pages of information into a single page, the sacrifices in terms of resume readability and content can be glaring: adequate margins; readable font size; white space between paragraphs and sections; and bulleted details/ examples of important achievements. The final product may be overcrowded and difficult to read, and in many cases, it will not be read. If I cannot find your college degree and your most recent employers and titles without use of a magnifying glass (or a 200% zoom on the computer) I give up. And so will other recruiters and employers.
And so, a few points to guide you as you compose your resume:
· You MUST include relevant details and examples that will differentiate your background and experience from other similar backgrounds.
· Your resume MUST be readable and attractive, including white space and separations of content.
· There is no One-Page Resume Rule.
Of course, not all arbitrary limitations on resume length are unreasonable…which brings me to The Three-Page Resume Rule. My advice - unless you have been working continuously since 1947, follow it.