Job seekers with a wide range of previous experience often debate whether their resume should be one or two pages. This is an old discussion, but one the requires serious consideration for modern day job hunters. Both the one and two page resume have specific benefits and drawbacks. However, no matter which length you choose, what's most important is focusing on succinctly showcasing your professional skills and goals. Much of this decision is subjective. With that said, a two page resume should never be used just for the sake of length. If you're stuck with a page and a half of job experience and wondering which way to go, here is a basic guide to a one and two page resume:
A one page resume is the standard. Both recruiters and hiring managers are dealing with a larger volume of applicants than ever before, especially since so many application systems allow job seekers to submit documents online. With that said, people in these positions are key to getting you an interview, and since they have so many applicants to sift through, many of them will value a concise resume. Furthermore, if you can highlight skills relevant to the position in this amount of space it will help you quickly attract their attention.
If your resume just barely sprawls onto the second page, consider tweaking it to bring it down to one. If nothing else, this option is much more aesthetically pleasing. There are simple formatting tricks you can use such as changing the font size or adjusting the margins. However, also ask yourself what content on your resume could easily be eliminated. Is there anything on there that seems superfluous? If so it might simply be a matter of trimming the fat to bring your resume down to a more traditional single page layout.
For most young job seekers, one page should be more than enough to suffice. When you're just entering your career, odds are you won't have enough professional experience to warrant two pages. Even if you have a significant amount of academic honors and extracurricular activities, consider if they're relevant to the positions for which you are applying before loading your resume up with them.
A two page resume is generally used for job seekers that have more professional experience and need the space to list all of it. Although, a two page resume has become more popular in the digital age. Computer programs that search resumes for keywords often will rank documents based on the frequency of keywords, and this can lead to a two page resume being ranked higher if these terms are prevalent throughout it. Moreover, since resumes submitted online – assuming they are not printed out – don't require a recruiter or hiring manager to flip the page, these documents have become somewhat more digestible.
On the other hand, a recruiter may look at a two page resume and lose interest due to the length. In these situations, it's possible that the person scanning your resume entirely missed a section that may have earned you an interview.
What's of the utmost importance is making sure all the information on your resume is relevant and up-to-date. If your resume is two pages because it is filled with outdated positions and unrelated roles, it will do little to benefit your standing with recruiters and employers. When you create, edit and update your resume, remember to consider the document from the perspective of the reader. Whether one pages or two, your resume should be appealing to those looking to hire you.