by Jennifer Devine, Head Editor, INALJ West Virginia
The Myth of the One Page Resume
When I first started my job search while still in my graduate program, I read a lot of resources on how to create a great resume. Most sources will tell you that as a student just coming into the workforce that you have one page to make it pass the 20 second rule. I stuck to this idea in creating my first resume and created a pretty decent resume. I did have to leave off some volunteer work and other work positions that didn’t exactly meet the requirements of the job I was applying to. I was able to land my first job off this resume and lucked out that they were just looking for specific experience that I have.
Recently I have been looking for a second job and needed to redo my resume. I had been tailoring my resume to each position I applied to, but a lot of the jobs that I have been applying to want customer service experience, which I have but was not on my resume. My new resume I felt needed to include my current position, which I intend to keep with a new job. I also had to show my customer service positions and library experience. Just with those positions it filled up an entire page and was leaving off important information from my resume that would complement the skills required for the job.
I started to debate about making my resume more than one page. I was a bit skeptical at first. I talked with some of my co-workers and found out most of them have two page resumes. I then spoke with some of my former classmates and previous co-workers and found out that they too have two page resumes. I read some more information online and found some sources mentioning one page is best but if you have enough to go to two pages that it is acceptable. I decided to bite the bullet and expanded my resume to two pages.
Just in grad school alone I worked two jobs and volunteered in related fields. Three of these positions alone take up one page and don’t even include my inernships, previous relevant work experience or other related volunteer experiences. I still tailor my resume and for some positions and take off some of my experience, which makes it one page. However, I now feel since I made the two-page resume that the one page resume is truly a myth. If you’re like me and you’ve held more than one job, completed internships or volunteered you have a lot of valuable experience that you are leaving off your resume when scaling down to one page.
Using a two-page resume may not be needed for everyone but if you have a lot of relevant experience for positions you are applying to don’t worry so much about the length of you resume but pay attention to the relevance of the resume to the job posting.
You want to convince the readers of your resume that you can do the job your applying to. Therefore you want to include the most relevant experience you have whether they be paid or unpaid. Skills that are required or would be needed for the job i.e. time management, organization ect… Don’t forget to include relevant courses, conferences, workshops or anything that you have done that will set you apart from the crowd and are relatable or useful to the organization you are applying to. I would also suggest that you include any professional organizations you are a member of. Although it may seem like a space waster it helps show your commitment to your career path and professional development it may also help you in landing the job if the hiring committee are members as well or if they are familiar with the organizations.