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One or Two Page Resume for New Grads? It Depends.

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“Should my resume be one or two pages?” This is one of the most commonly asked questions I receive from new grads about their resume.

As you embark on your new career, you know that a well-written resume and cover letter are often times the first step to getting an interview, and you obviously want to put your best foot forward. But how long should your resume be? Should you keep it to one page because it’s easier for a recruiter to read? Or do you feel that you are limiting yourself by keeping it to one page because you have so many rich work experiences to share with a future employer?

The answer to the one or two-page resume question is there is no hard and fast rule. Some “experts” say that a one-page resume is preferred. I think it’s shortsighted to definitively state that a resume should only be one page. It’s impossible to answer this question of whether a resume should be one or two pages without first reviewing a job seeker’s work history.

If you are considering a two-page resume, I would suggest asking yourself these questions first:

  • Is the content in your resume value-added for the position in which you are applying?
  • If you look at your resume through the eyes of a recruiter, do you have enough relevant professional and/or volunteer experience that a recruiter would find your document compelling to read and want to call you in for an interview?

Another factor to consider is whether your work experiences translates well to the position in which you are applying. If it does, a two-page resume may be acceptable. For example, you may be a new grad nurse with little healthcare experience, but you may have years of experience working in customer service. In this situation, if you have enough relevant content, it is perfectly acceptable to have a two-page resume. In fact, you may limit your chances of getting an interview if you decide to make your resume only one page and not include all of that great experience. Customer service skills are very transferable to nursing and it would only benefit you to include it in your resume.

On the other hand, if you have very limited professional experience and are simply using content as filler to beef up your resume and make it appear that you have more experience than you do, a two-page resume is not recommended.

Many new job seekers have had success getting jobs with both one and two-pages resumes. It’s important to remember that content is king, and as long as your resume is well-written, the content is value-added, your responsibilities and accomplishments are highlighted, and your document is well formatted, you can decide whether a one or two page resume will be most effective for you.