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A common misconception is a resume shouldn't be longer than a single page. While it's essential to keep the information you provide concise and to the point, if you can't do it in a one-page resume, then it's appropriate to use a two-page resume. Focus on the content on those two pages and make your skills and experience shine.
A 2018 study found that employers are 2.3 times as likely to prefer two-page resumes over one page, regardless of a candidate's experience.
For other job seekers, a one-page resume is sufficient. Especially if you're an entry-level applicant, making a career change, or have worked at the same company for most of your career.
This articles outlines:
- Why you should consider using a two-page resume
- When to use a two-page resume
- Tips for writing a two-page resume
- The best two-page resume format to use to stand out
- An example two-page resume
Why you should consider using a two-page resume
The extra page allows you to be more specific and expand your experience with concrete examples and skills, which can help you beat application tracking systems.
Most companies use applicant tracking systems to screen out resumes that don't fit the job description. Applicant tracking systems are programmed to focus on resumes that use and repeat specific keywords while also looking at the length of relevant experience and skills the candidate has.
Expanding your resume to two pages lets you repeat these keywords throughout your relevant work experience and ensure that your resume gets to the hiring manager.
Related: How to create a STAR method resume
Another reason is some jobs require experience, and you're better of showing two pages of achievements.
When to use a two-page resume
It's appropriate to use a longer resume when you:
- Have more than ten years of experience: If you have ten or more years of relevant work experience in your industry with multiple employers, or a history of promotion and achievements, you should use multiple pages. The second page will allow you to outline your accomplishments and contributions to set you apart from other job applicants.
- Are applying for a senior-level job: Most companies hiring C-level or senior management expect to receive two or three-page resumes that provide the work history of an executive's leadership roles and professional experience.
- Have extensive career accomplishments, certification, or technical skills: If you are in specific fields, such as IT, engineering, academia, or academic research, employers expect to see a list of your professional certifications, tech skills, key projects, or papers. Many recruiters in these industries still prioritize professional credentials, so it's essential to provide all relevant information in your application.
How to write a two-page resume
Follow these steps to write a two-page resume that is sure to improve your chances:
1. Read the job description
Creating a compelling resume always begins with reading the job description. As you read, look for crucial behaviors, skills, or experiences that the hiring manager has called out.
These are the keywords you'll want to include in your resume. We recommend using the STAR method to describe each job based on the situation, tasks, actions, and results. Always start your bullet points with action verbs to make your statements descriptive and persuasive.
Canva – Internationalization Lead (May 2018 - Jan 2022)
- Led internationalization effort to grow Canva's organic traffic and product usage in non-English languages
- Restructured marketing site to support internationalization work, liaised with product and engineering teams, proved our initial concept, and set up best practices for future languages
- Led to Canva being available in more than 100 languages and organic traffic growth to more than 20 million visits per month
2. Think about what you want to include
When you're writing your resume, there are a few sections you'll always include:
- Your name and contact information (have this on both pages)
- Resume summary or objective statement
- Professional experience
- Relevant skills
You could also include sections on your hobbies and interests, volunteer experience, or recognition and awards.
3. Choose a resume format
Once you read the job description and choose the sections you want to include, it's time to select a resume format:
- Functional resume: Functional or skill-based resumes are good if you need to explain gaps in employment or are changing careers as this resume format focuses on relevant skills and qualifications.
- Chronological resume: Chronological resumes are appropriate if you have several years of relevant work experience in the same industry.
- Combination resume: If you have little or no professional experience, a combination resume is a great way to focus on your skills while including relevant work or volunteer experience.
3. Provide critical information on page one
Start your first page with a resume summary highlighting four or five of your most significant career accomplishments. After that, list your work experience based on the resume format you have chosen:
- Functional: The functional resume format focuses more on skills than job history, so after your summary, you'll want to choose three skills to highlight and associated results that demonstrate those skills. After that, you'll outline your experience and education.
- Chronological: The chronological resume format lists your relevant work experience starting with your most recent role, so after your summary, list out your jobs, tenure, and associated achievements. After your professional experience section, list out your skills and education.
- Combination: The combination format blends the chronological and functional formats to show your skills and relevant experience. Start by listing out your skills, then dive into your professional expertise, and finally, your education.
Regardless of the format you choose, it's essential to be as quantifiable as possible. If you managed marketing spend, how much was it? If you supervised people, how many? You want to get specific and highlight the tangible things that are important to employers.
4. List supporting information on page two
As you're planning to use a two-page resume, you likely have a lot of relevant work experience to include, which means that your supporting information like our education or volunteer experience is less important.
Focus your first page on crucial information like your skills and experience and the second page on your education, qualifications, hobbies, interests, volunteer experience, or recognition and awards.
5. Use both pages
If you opt to use two pages, be sure to fill both. Otherwise, shorten your resume to one page.
If you're struggling to fill both pages, you can shorten your resume by:
- Being more concise: Focus on the fundamental idea of each sentence and shorten it.
- Removing filler words: Words like "a," "an," "to," "the," "or," and "and."
- Listing accomplishments over tasks: Instead of listing out your duties at each role, focus on your most relevant achievements based on what you identified in the job description.
- Removing irrelevant or optional information: If you have included optional sections on your hobbies, interests, or volunteer experience, remove them.
- Widening the margins: Widengin margins should be a last resort as it can ruin formatting, but it can create a bit more space in a pinch.
6. Present your two-page resume properly
If you need to present a physical copy of your resume, make sure you use two pieces of paper instead of a double-sided print. If you give a hiring manager a double-sided resume, they may not realize it is two pages.
Likewise, it's a good idea to use a paperclip to connect your resume rather than a staple, as it'll make it easier for them to review the resume.
Tips for writing a two-page resume
- Put your most important qualifications and experience on the first page: Applicant tracking systems and recruiters want to see your most relevant skills and work history at the beginning of your resume. The best way to do this is with a resume summary that outlines why you're the best candidate for the job.
- Incorporate keywords and phrases from the job description: A great way to do this is to use the STAR method to structure your resume summary and professional experience section. A STAR method resume will ensure that you adequately document your relevant skills and experience.
- Use metrics to explain your achievements: One of the primary advantages of including extra pages in your resume is it gives you more space to highlight your career accomplishments. It's best to have three to four bullet points for each job in your professional experience section and quantify your achievements where possible.
- Don't worry about filling the entire second page: Although you should aim to have enough text to fill at least a third of the second page, otherwise, you should focus on condensing your resume to one page. Add more relevant information, keywords, and accomplishments if you're running short.
- Consider repeating your contact information on the second page: This makes it easy for the hiring manager to contact you if they like the second page of your resume.
- Number the pages: Numbering pages ensures the employer won't miss the second page.
- Avoid double-sided resumes: If you're printing your resume, don't make it two-sided, as this can make it easy for the recruiter to miss the second page.
Two-page resume template
The three most popular resume formats are chronological, function, and combination. Choose the template that works best for your career level and skills. Below are templates for all three forms:
Two-page resume example
The following is an example two-page resume. It includes a resume summary, skills table, professional experience descriptions that highlight accomplishments using the STAR method, and a comprehensive description of the candidate's education and certifications.
Note how important information is repeated throughout the resume to improve their chances of beating the automated screening of applicant tracking systems (ATS).
Two-page resume example (text version)
123 Main Street
San Francisco, CA 94016
10+ years' success building software products and leading software teams.
Detail-oriented Senior Software Engineer leveraging superb leadership, analytical, and technical talents to build great products that users love. Well-versed in Ruby and Ruby on Rails, technical recruiting, code views, and management.
Effectively communicate expectations and project statuses across organizational levels. Proactive in reviewing sprint progress to promote productivity within high-paced work environments.
Hooli, San Francisco, California
Engineering Manager (February 2018 – Present)
Leverage Ruby and Ruby on Rails expertise to optimize a middle-out compression engine. Meticulously established engineering quality standards to meet key performance indicators for quality, productivity, and NPS. Supervise and mentor eight direct reports.
- Spearheaded launch of new middle-out compression engine, reducing server spend by 50%.
- Successfully recruited all eight of my direct reports.
- Drove continuous improvement strategies to improve engineering productivity by 69% and reduce downtime by 40%.
Smokation, San Francisco, California
Founder (November 2004 – January 2008)
Led daily operations to build an app to locate nearby smokers. Responsible for fundraising, product, engineering, and design teams. Was a member of the prestigious Hacker Hostel and business incubator, Aviato.
- Raised seed funding from Raviga, an investment group founded by the late Peter Gregory
- Grew user base from zero to over 10,000 monthly actives.
- Recruited a team of 15 people across product, design, and engineering.
Baidu, Beijing, China
App Developer (July 2003 – September 2008)
Coordinated and directed a cross-functional team of 17 in engineering and design of backend systems. Planned, launched, and established OKRs for new projects. Additional scope of responsibility included project tracking, sprint planning, budgeting, change management, risk management, and stakeholder communications.
- Managed team of 17 engineering and design staff.
- Implemented new sprint planning processes that consistently ensured maximum quality and on-time launch of project deliverables.
EDUCATION & CREDENTIALS
Stanford University, Stanford, California; 4.00 GPA
Master of Computer Science
PEKING UNIVERSITY, Beijing, China; 4.00 GPA
Bachelor of Computer Science
Professional Certifications: Certified Scrum Master (CSM) • Project Management Professional (PMP) • Software Engineering Master Certification (SEMC) • Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) • Master Project Manager (MPM)
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