Shattering the One Page Rule

Probably one of the greatest debates between Human Resources professionals, headhunters, and hiring managers alike, is that of the one page resume. Some believe it is Absolutely essential to keep your resume to one page, while others believe it is an old wives tale.

When you are graduating from high school or college, a one page resume is usually the best choice. Unless you have won a bunch of awards and also participated in a plethora of extracurricular activities before age 21, you should be able to fit a summary of your entire life on one page. This also holds true for those people who have held a single job for a long time and are beginning to search for new opportunities.

If you can fit everything you need to say on to one clean page, there’s no need to stretch it out onto two. But, as many candidates find, after a few jobs you’ll have lots to say and may choose to use two pages (or more).

Here are some reasons why a multi-page resume is ideal:

1) If you are not confined to one page, you will not have to use the teeny tiny fonts that someone, who left their magnifying glass home, will be unable to read.

2) You will have more room to add a section to each job experience entitled “Accomplishments” where you will be able to tell us why you excelled at your job rather than just doing it.

3) You will have room to add a sentence or two about your volunteer and extracurricular activities, explaining what skills you gained from these experiences.

4) You will have room to add a summary of your background or list of key skills representing your talents at the top of your resume.

5) You will have room to add things about you that might be interesting to an employer beyond your job, such as winning an award.

If you survey recruiters and Human Resources professionals, a small percentage will tell you that you need to stick to one page, but the majority will advise you to cap it at two with three being the absolute maximum. I believe that it should be as long as it needs to be to explain your qualifications to your audience.

And my resume you ask? Not only did I break the one page rule, I shattered it. I have 20+ years of relevant work experience and loads of volunteer activities and memberships. My resume is filled with four pages that I am proud of, which make me a well-qualified Human Resources professional. I would never even try to fit my whole career on one page.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:  The answer to whether your particular resume should be one page is like many other things in job searching…it depends. If you have a handful of work experience and great accomplishments to communicate, do not feel that you must confine yourself to just one page. Quality is far more important than quantity.

Blog by ‘Absolutely’ Abby Kohut. See more from Abby on her site:


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