In almost every case, your resume should be no longer than one page. Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule. Sometimes, you simply need more than one page to communicate your extensive skillset and extensive range of experience.
If that’s the case, you should aim for a two-page resume. However, you do have to modify your approach a bit. Remember, the goal is to write a compelling two-page resume, not a repelling one. To help you with that, we’ve put together some great writing tips and a two-page resume example.
Are You Sure a Resume Has To Be Two Pages?
The first tip is to be absolutely sure you cannot get away with a one-page resume. Look your copy over with the eye of a ruthless editor. What can you cut out? Look for the following:
- Irrelevant Job History — e.g. part-time jobs from high school, jobs not in your field, jobs that are more than 10 years old.
- A rambling professional summary — be concise!
- Hobbies and interests
- Skills that are no longer relevant
- Laundry lists of mundane tasks and duties for every job you’ve ever had.
- Anything that you can address in the interview.
If you can pare things down to a single page, wonderful! If not, you can be confident that your resume is simply destined to be longer than average. Keep reading for additional tips below.
What should be on page one, and what should be on page two? This is an important question and something that should be a conscious decision on your part.
Don’t let things fall onto page two simply because you ran out of room on page one. Instead, look at your resume, and determine which sections are important enough to make page one, and which you can move down to page two. Remember that page one is most likely to be read.
Your planned layout might look something like this.
- Professional Summary
- Work History
- Certifications And Licenses
- Most Recent Education
- Other Education
- Research Work
- Volunteer Work
- Awards And Recognition
Write A Great Professional Summary
You’re going to need a powerful opening. Basically, you want the hiring manager to go from ‘Ugh, a long resume!’ to ‘Wow, I want to read more!’ How do you do that! Think of the hiring manager as a potential customer. You want to impress them. Tell them what you can do to help them. Answer the question, ‘what is the benefit of hiring this person?’ Instead of writing:
Experienced sales person seeking a position that will allow me to earn high commissions while working with other talented, driven professionals.
An experienced salesperson who is ready to increase your sales numbers, and turn leads into customers.
If you can add some data to quantify things, that’s even better:
Experienced salesperson with a closing rate of more than 80% who is eager to increase your sales numbers, and develop long-lasting customer relationships.
Get Your Keywords On Page One
There are two things you need to think about here. If your resume is scanned by applicant tracking software, that technology may only read page one of your resume. If it is skimmed by a hiring manager, they are going to take 7 seconds to glance over page one. In either case, you have to make that first page as relevant as possible.
To do that, make certain you have included plenty of relevant keywords on the first page. Ideally, these will be in the top half of the page. Use the job listing as your resource for mining the keywords you should use.
Two-Page Resume Sample
Here is a two-page resume sample that you can use as a bit of a guide. To help you better understand the layout, we’ve indicated where each page begins.
Remember that this page will have your primary information, and the highest priority items.
Master carpenter with more than 20 years of experience. Capable of completing high-end remodeling, new construction, and remodeling projects on time and within budget. Exceptional track record of working with discerning customers, and doing custom work.
- Historical Restoration
- Custom Woodworking
- Cabinet Making
- Special Projects
- Custom Closets
- Furniture Building
- Construction Management
- Building And Zoning Codes
Benson’s Custom Woodworking
January 2012 – Present
- Led the completion of more than 1,000 custom woodworking and remodeling projects.
- Managed up to three projects at any given time.
- Trained and mentored apprentices and journeymen.
- Worked cooperatively with designers, architects, and inspectors.
- Interpreted blueprints and plans.
- Completed complex projects including artistic finishes.
- Assisted with bidding and cost estimates.
- Selected materials that were appropriate for the job and desired function.
August 2001 – January 2012
- Advanced from apprentice to master carpenter
- Led a ten-person team in the construction of luxury homes, commercial properties, and public installations.
- Built custom furniture and cabinetry with an average final price of 40K per project.
Certifications and Licensing
- Master Carpenter – United Brotherhood Of Carpenters And cabinetmakers Local 638
- OSHA Job Site Safety Certified
- Florida Construction Contractor’s License No. 123456
Carpenters District Council
Apprenticeship – Classroom Training
Certificate of Completion
Clearwater Job Corps
Building Trades And Maintenance
Certificate of Completion
- Master Carpenter Of The Year – 2018
- Florida Home builder’s Association Custom Home Builders Gold Medal – 2015
Please review my best construction and woodworking projects:
[Insert your portfolio URL here]
Final Thoughts: Get More Organized With A Template
Rather than trying to design your own layout, let the professionals lend you a hand. Choose a creative resume format that will provide you with the structure you need to write a readable, attractive, two-page resume.