If you’re like me, you might have “one page only!” ingrained in your brain when it comes to how long a resume should be. However, once you’ve been in the workforce for several years, your one-page resume is likely bursting at the seams. Is a two page resume the answer? Turns out, it’s not as taboo as you (and I) may have thought.

Can a resume be two pages?

Yes, as long as the extra length is warranted. Here’s the thing–a two page resume is not an excuse to include everything you’ve ever done in your career. If you’re going to ask a recruiter or hiring manager to look through two pages, it better be worth it!

The two page resume is ideal, and even beneficial, for job seekers with five years or more experience in the same career field. Recent college grads and those changing careers will likely be better suited to a one page resume. Still, it can be tricky to know whether or not the two page resume is right for you.

When to use a two page resume

To figure out if you need a two page resume or not, try first drafting a resume without any editing at all. Include everything–relevant or not. Then, start cutting it down. Be ruthless in your trimming! Any work experience that is irrelevant to the job you’re applying for can be cut. If you’re unsure about a piece of information, chances are it’s not worth including. The goal is to get rid of as much fluff as possible.

Paste your resume and the job description in to the Jobscan resume optimization tool to see which skills, keywords, and experience are actually important to the job for which you’re applying.

When you’re done trimming, how long is your resume? If it’s more than a page and a half, the two page resume is a good fit. If it’s less than a page and a half, try expanding margins and changing resume format to see if you can make it fit on one page.

Benefits of a two page resume

Imagine you’re a recruiter. You have a pile of resumes to get through and limited time to get through them. You see one resume that is only one page, but it’s packed with information. Then, you see a two page resume with the same amount of information, but spread out in a way that makes it easy to skim quickly. The point? A shorter resume is not always better.

You might even have more success going up against applicant tracking systems if you use a two page resume. By giving yourself extra space to expand upon important resume keywords, or even creating a keyword bank or “skills” section, you make your resume more compatible with those pesky resume screeners.

How to Format a Two Page Resume

While the length will increase, the overall format of your two page resume will be similar to that of a one page resume. The bulk of your resume, especially second page, will be used for listing work experience, though the structure of the second page will vary based on the resume format you choose.

Regardless of format, there’s no need to include a resume header or contact information on the second page. Save that valuable space for your work experience.

It’s okay if your work experience entries are split between the two pages. What you want to avoid is having one entry split at the page break. Remember, it’s all about making your resume as readable as possible, both for the hiring manager and applicant tracking system.

Two Page Resume Format Examples

Check out our two page executive resume format templates here, including the template below.

Two page resume example from Jobscan.

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