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One Page? Yes, One Page. Mostly.

“I was wondering if you could give me your thoughts on making a resume with more than one page. I have seen conflicting opinions about this.”

The less you give people to read, the more control you have over what they pay attention to. This advice applies to resumes, but also cover letters, writing samples, personal statements, query letters, and the like.

For jobs early in your career, a one-page resume a good idea. It’s standard practice for entry-level jobs and it conveys your ability to communicate concisely. More can come off as self-involved or pretentious.

There are always exceptions. If you have SO much directly relevant experience that you can’t possibly fit it onto a single page, then the employer would probably rather not lose that information to an arbitrary standard. But the employer may not be motivated to read past a page break if the content is unrelated to their needs.

A cover letter may extend beyond a single page when writing skills are central to the job, and your cover letter gives you an opportunity to demonstrate them. Even here, though, consider your audience. Will they value talent that overflows a single page, or would they rather know that you can say a lot in a small space?

Get help with your documents at our virtual Resume/Cover Letter Drop-In, every Friday at noon, or make an appointment for another time. If you want to get started on your own, check out our suggested resume and cover letter formats (which you can copy and paste for your own use).

Have a question you’d like to see answered here on the blog? Email us at humanitiesprc@illinois.edu.