1 or 2 Page Resume? Wait, Do I Even Need a Resume? 3 Tips for Job Seekers
There is an old debate among HR, job seekers, and recruiters: should you have a 1-page or a 2-page resume? The cold hard truth is you need to tell the person you can do the job on the first page or you will never get an interview, but the second page and your Facebook profile may be more important than your resume.
As a recruiter I look at thousands of resumes a year and have to be very efficient, so I often only look at the first page and will only read the second page if a candidate is qualified with the experience and education our clients demand. A 2012 study showed that most recruiters spend less than 7 seconds looking a resume but the truth is many companies use software to sort and rank resumes. We all know about the increasing use of artificial intelligence, and in the future, most resumes will not even be looked at by a human
So why put effort into the second page of your resume?
#1 Demonstrating your experience by using keywords found in the job posting. Some unrealistic employers are looking for a superhuman. Sometimes there is no way you can demonstrate all of the things they are looking for on the first page and still include your phone number. (Much less your address, which many employers use to calculate the commuting distance of a candidate before interviewing.) The first page should feature your most recent and relevant work experience and education, but you might have to dive deep into your whole life story on the second page. If the employer is looking for the keywords “leadership” and “budgeting”, for instance, you can demonstrate that by including your stint as an assistant captain in high school soccer team and volunteering as the treasurer of your local Search and Rescue.
#2 Showing you are a human. Between the buzzwords of your industry, education credentials, and chronological work history, how is a person reading your resume going to figure out if they want to work with you 8-12 hours a day, 40 hours a week, 50 odd weeks a year? Adding a hobbies or interest section that says Hiking with Family, Coaching Hockey, Cycling, Boating or Learning to Fly will resonate with many resume readers. Without personal interests, how will someone be interested in you if you didn’t go to the same school, work in the same town or in companies where their friends worked? Always include an interest section on the second page of your resume to stand out.
#3 Your resume is not everything and will likely not get you the job. Right now billions of people are hanging out on Facebook and Facebook just happens to be spending hundreds of millions on helping employers find their next employee. Even if a company is not formally recruiting on Facebook, a supervisor who is interviewing you will be interested enough to search your profile picture and any public information you have in order to learn more about the person they could be spending 2000 hours with a year. Get a great friendly picture as your main Facebook photo and either scrub your timeline with a fine tooth comb or change the privacy setting to prevent employers from viewing your posts and timeline.
Applying for and searching for a job is changing rapidly with Facebook’s move into recruiting, but the traditional resume is and will still be preferred by employers for the foreseeable future. Making the best use of a two-page resume is essential for a job search. Let me know if you agree or disagree below!
Kael Campbell is President and Lead Recruiter of Red Seal Recruiting Solutions, a company providing recruitment services in mining, equipment and plant maintenance, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. When he is not recruiting, Kael spends as much time as possible with family in the great outdoors and on the water. He volunteers his time as a Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Victoria and a Member of Victoria Marine Search and Rescue. You are invited to subscribe to our employer newsletter or submit your resume.