Can a two-page resume increase your odds of getting hired?
Until you’ve reached the mid-point of your career, or unless you’re in a unique industry like academia or medicine, your resume should always be one-page long, right?
Despite the long-held convention, a recent study has found that two-page resumes are actually preferred by recruiters, no matter the candidate’s experience level.
The study, conducted by resume writing service ResumeGo, found that compared with single-page resumes, two-page resumes increase the amount of time recruiters spend reviewing the applicant, and can ultimately improve the candidate’s likelihood of getting hired.
ResumeGo asked 482 recruiters, hiring managers and HR professionals to screen nearly 8,000 resumes in a hiring simulation, over 5,000 of which used at least part of a second page.
The study concluded that recruiters were 2.3 times as likely to prefer two-page resumes, scoring their ability to “summarize the candidate’s work experiences and overall credentials” higher by an average of 21%.
Furthermore, when it came time to make a final decision, participants spent an average of more than four minutes reviewing two-page resumes, compared with less than two and a half minutes on those that were confined to one.
“We were pretty surprised ourselves,” says Peter Yang, the CEO of ResumeGo.
Yang says that after seeing candidates whittle their resumes down to a single page by increasing the margins, reducing the font size and even removing some potentially relevant information, he decided to test the conventional wisdom that forbids page two.
“I think that belief wasn’t actually grounded in any scientific data or research, and I’m not sure how it came about,” he says.
Yang adds that if a resume doesn’t require two pages, job seekers shouldn’t take his study to suggest they need to add more information just for the sake of reaching the second page.
“It would come across as unnatural,” he says. “It would seem clear to the reader that you’re just adding in fluff.”
The study ultimately found that employers were 2.9 times more likely to prefer a two-page resume when hiring for managerial positions, 2.6 times as likely to prefer them for mid-level positions, and 1.4 times as likely to prefer a two-page resume for entry-level job openings.