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Historically, resumes condensed achievements onto a single page due to limited space and typewriter constraints. Before the ability to use digital formats, keeping facts short was vital for easy review by employers. This concise formatting helped to streamline the hiring processes and emphasized the most important qualifications.

Applying for jobs today is wildly different from life 10 years ago, let alone 30 years ago. Today, a resume is usually submitted electronically, often using an online portal or by email. Physical dropping off a resume is now virtually non-existent due to digital advancements. 

Despite the ease of submitting a resume, brevity still remains crucial for easy readability, especially when networking platforms such as LinkedIn play the role of supplementing traditional resumes. You’re likely wondering: exactly how long should my resume be? Is two pages too long for a resume?

When Two-Page Resumes Are Appropriate

So, is it acceptable to have a resume that is two pages long? At iCareerSolutions, we think a two-page resume is absolutely appropriate for many situations.

A two-page resume suits a professional who has gained extensive experience, has a diverse skill set, or has some notable achievements that are not possible to be highlighted adequately on just a single page. 

High end professionals and senior-level executives who work in research or academia often require more space to provide details of their accomplishments, projects and publications. A professional seeking out a career change should also benefit from a longer resume which can more effectively highlight relevant skills and experiences gained in different fields that will better help them receive the new job they’re seeking. 

However, it is important to maintain relevance, conciseness and readability. A two-page, well-structured resume must prioritize career achievements which are likely to have the most impact so they capture the attention of hirers and recruiters. It’s fine to have a two-page resume, so long as your career history is rich enough to require additional space.

How to Write an Achievement-Based Resume

Crafting an achievement-based resume involves showcasing your accomplishments and contributions rather than just listing job duties. Start by identifying key achievements from your past roles, focusing on measurable results and impact. Use the PAR (Problem-Action-Result) or STAR (Situation-Task-Action-Result) method to structure your achievements, highlighting the problem or challenge you faced, the action you took, and the positive results achieved. Quantify your accomplishments whenever possible, using numbers, percentages, or other metrics to demonstrate the scope of your success. Tailor your achievements to the specific job you’re applying for, aligning them with the employer’s needs and priorities. Finally, incorporate your achievements throughout your resume, including in your summary, work experience section, and any relevant awards or honors.

When describing yourself in an executive resume, focus on leadership qualities, strategic vision, and executive-level skills. Begin with a strong executive summary that highlights your leadership experience, industry expertise, proven track record of success, and key accomplishments. Use powerful language to convey confidence and authority, emphasizing your ability to drive business growth, lead teams, and make critical decisions. Provide concrete examples of your leadership style and approach, such as how you’ve successfully led organizations through change or achieved significant revenue growth. Highlight your executive presence, communication skills, and ability to influence stakeholders at all levels. Tailor your descriptions to the specific needs of the executive role you’re targeting, demonstrating how your unique strengths and experiences make you an ideal candidate for the position. Be specific here–pull language from the job description and describe how your strengths align with the role.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in LinkedIn Summaries

Employers who are searching through LinkedIn summaries to find job candidates are going to be looking at a lot of summaries. If your summary is boring or generic, potential employers are going to pass by your profile without giving it a second glance. The biggest mistakes that people make when crafting their LinkedIn summaries include:

Being Too Generic or Vague

Whether you’re describing your skillset or talking about the type of role you’re trying to find you should be as specific as possible in your summary. Generic vague descriptions give the impression that you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for. Or, that you’re not able to correctly assess your specific skills. For example, instead of “increasing profitability,” list the exact return on investment you were able to achieve in a given time period. Instead of saying you “reduced employee turnover,” list your employer’s turnover rates year over year. 

Employers won’t waste time trying to figure out if you have the skills they’re looking for. 50% of hiring managers use LinkedIn skill data to fill roles. The more specific you are about your skills, the better the chance you’re going to get hired. 

Focusing Solely on Job Responsibilities

Demonstrating competence with the job responsibilities that an employer needs to have done is important, but it’s not everything. A summary that has a witty story or anecdote, expresses personality, and explains why you’re a good fit for a particular role is going to make a better impression than one that is only focused on job responsibilities.

Employers want to see if your personality is going to be a fit for their culture just as much as they want to know if you can do the job. This could not be more true for executives–good managers, especially new hires, make or break jobs for their employees.

Neglecting Proofreading and Grammar

Employers will notice if your grammar is incorrect, or if your summary is filled with punctuation errors and hasn’t been proofread. Check, double check, and then triple check your summary for basic grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors before you post it. Attention to detail matters to future employers. This can even be true if your native language is the same–Australian, UK, and American English all have their own nuances. Cater your LinkedIn summary to the country of your ideal employment. 

Overlooking Visual Elements and Multimedia

There’s not a lot of personalization allowed in LinkedIn summaries, but you can use visual elements like short paragraphs that are easy to skim, bulleted lists, headings, italics, spacing, and even emojis to make your summary look visually appealing. These style elements will also make your summary easier to read and direct readers to important information.

Do Not Go Over Two Pages When Writing Your Resume

Keeping a resume to two pages maximizes its impact while respecting recruiters’ time constraints. Exceeding 2 pages on a resume risks overwhelming readers and diluting the resume’s effectiveness. To keep to these guidelines, prioritize the most relevant and impressive information by focusing on achievements and skills directly related to the target position. 

Streamline content by eliminating redundant details and using concise language. Utilize formatting techniques like bullet points and clear headers to enhance readability. Write in an active voice to make an impact. For example, here are two different bullet points sharing the same point:

  • Answered Shareholders’ Questions Regarding Quarterly Performance (active)
  • Shareholders’ Questions Were Answered Regarding Quarterly Performance (passive)

The first bullet point not only sounds better, but is shorter.

Make Your Resume Count

Remember, a succinct and well-organized two-page resume allows recruiters to quickly grasp your qualifications, increasing the likelihood of capturing their interest and advancing in the hiring process. Time is of the essence when crafting your resume.

Research suggests that recruiters typically spend only about 6-7 seconds initially scanning a resume. This brief window of attention underscores the importance of making a strong first impression with concise and impactful content. Additionally, studies indicate that most hiring managers spend an average of 30 seconds reviewing a resume during the first pass. 

If a resume captures their interest during this initial scan, they may spend more time on subsequent reviews. It’s crucial for job seekers to optimize their resumes for quick comprehension, emphasizing key achievements and qualifications relevant to the job they’re applying for. Employing clear formatting, bullet points, and strategic placement of important information can help ensure that a resume stands out in this limited timeframe. Making your resume stand out is crucial to be considered for any executive, management, VP, or C-Level positions. 

Consolidating a resume involves trimming unnecessary content while optimizing formatting for readability.

Resume Too Long? Nine Ways To Condense Your Resume:

  1. Cut out fluff words by eliminating verbose language and redundant phrases. Focus on conveying information concisely and directly.
  2. Eliminate outdated or irrelevant job duties by streamlining your work experience by removing duties from past roles that are no longer relevant to your career goals or the position you’re now applying for.
  3. Experiment with font and margins by using a clean, professional font like Arial or Calibri to maximize readability. Reduce font size to 10 or 11 points for the body text and 12 or 14 points for headers. Adjust margins to 0.5 inches to create more space for content without sacrificing readability.
  4. Condense contact information to essential information such as your name, a single phone number, and email address. 
  5. Consolidate sections such as “Skills” and “Qualifications” to avoid repetition. Highlight key skills within the context of your work experience or summary section.
  6. Present information in bullet-point format to convey key points efficiently and quickly. Limit bullet points to 3-5 per job so that you can focus on the most important achievements or responsibilities.
  7. Optimize white space by ensuring the resume isn’t overly cluttered by balancing text with white space. 
  8. Aim for a visually appealing layout that guides the reader’s eye through the document and avoid wasted white space.
  9. Review the resume for spelling and grammar errors, as well as formatting inconsistencies. Edit ruthlessly to ensure every word and section serves a purpose in showcasing your qualifications and experience.

Resume Q&As: Help Creating Your Perfect Resume

Yes, a ½ page counts when crafting a resume. However, a 2½ page resume is too long, and a 1½ page resume should be either consolidated or expanded for optimal presentation. Aim for a concise yet comprehensive format, ensuring every detail serves to highlight your qualifications effectively. To consolidate a resume, cut out fluff words, remove outdated duties, and condense sections. To expand, add relevant achievements and skills, incorporating additional job responsibilities, and providing more detail on significant projects or experiences. Tailor content to match the job requirements and highlight key qualifications.

Double-sided printing counts as two pages. However, since most resumes are viewed digitally, the physical page count is less relevant. Recruiters typically assess resumes on screens, where scrolling is common. Thus, the focus should be on optimizing content for digital readability rather than strict adherence to a page limit. 

Emphasize concise, yet impactful, information, ensuring key qualifications are easily accessible and are compelling to the reader. Utilizing double-sided printing can help conserve paper and create a more compact document, especially for longer resumes. However, it is essential to ensure readability and formatting clarity to maintain professionalism.

Deciding whether to include all your employment history on your resume depends on various factors, including relevance, space constraints, and career trajectory. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, considering the following points can help you make an informed decision.

Relevance

Prioritize experiences directly relevant to the position you’re applying for. Tailor your resume to highlight skills, accomplishments, and responsibilities that align with the job description. If past roles demonstrate key competencies sought by the employer, include them prominently. Emphasize roles that demonstrate career progression or significant achievements. Highlight promotions, leadership positions, and projects that showcase your growth and impact. Including a concise employment history timeline can provide context and demonstrate your professional development.

Select a resume format that best showcases your qualifications. A chronological resume lists work experience in reverse-chronological order, highlighting steady career advancement. In contrast, a functional resume emphasizes skills and accomplishments, which is ideal for candidates with employment gaps or diverse experiences.

Space Constraints 

Be selective to avoid overcrowding your resume with irrelevant or outdated experiences. Limiting your employment history to the past 15 years is generally sufficient, unless earlier roles are highly relevant or prestigious. Research typical resume practices in your industry or region. Some fields, such as academia or government, may require a comprehensive cover letter or CV outlining all employment, publications, and credentials. In contrast, private sector employers hiring executives often prefer concise resumes focused on recent and relevant experiences.

Career trajectory

Always maintain integrity by accurately representing your employment history. Omitting relevant positions or inflating achievements could raise a red flag during background checks or interviews. However, it’s acceptable to condense or summarize less relevant experiences so as to prioritize space and readability. Ultimately, your resume should strategically showcase your qualifications and achievements to capture the employer’s attention. Tailoring your employment history to emphasize relevance and career progression while respecting industry norms can enhance your chances of landing interviews and advancing in your job search.

Creating Your Perfect Two-Page Resume

Understanding your next career goals and aspirations is crucial when crafting your perfect two-page resume. This knowledge guides the selection of experiences, skills, and achievements to include, ensuring they align with your desired trajectory. Whether you’re seeking a promotion, transitioning to a new industry, or pursuing a specific role, clarity about your goals enables you to tailor your professional resume effectively. By highlighting relevant experiences and skills, you demonstrate your readiness and suitability for your desired executive career path.

Your executive or C-level resume serves as a starting point for the interview conversation. It provides a snapshot of your professional or executive background, skills, and achievements, sparking interest and prompting further inquiry during the interview. A well-crafted resume captures the attention of recruiters and hiring managers, compelling them to explore more deeply into your qualifications and experiences. As such, it’s essential to craft a compelling and concise document that effectively showcases your strengths and invites discussion during the interview process.

When you create your two-page resume, prioritize the most recent and relevant information. Begin with a strong summary or objective statement that highlights your executive career trajectory and key qualifications. Follow with your work experience, starting with your most recent role and working backward. For each position, emphasize relevant achievements, responsibilities, and skills that demonstrate your suitability for the targeted executive role. Prioritizing recent and relevant information ensures that recruiters and hiring managers quickly grasp your qualifications and relevant experience without having to sift through irrelevant details. This avoids wasting their time.

Benefits of Working With a Professional Resume Writing Service

Executive roles are some of the most desirable, and thus most competitive roles available in today’s job market. How can you ensure your resume stands out? If you haven’t secured your next role, professional resume writers may be able to help you land a job faster. iCareerSolutions can craft your perfect two-page resume. In fact, nearly 90% of our clients land their next role within eight weeks. Professional resume writers can offer you the following: 

  • Expertise in highlighting your strengths, optimizing formatting, and tailoring content to target specific industries or roles. 
  • Streamlining your resume, ensuring it effectively communicates your qualifications and stands out to recruiters. 
  • Craft effective professional resumes by leveraging professional expertise and industry insights a typical job applicant may not know on their own. 
  • Ensure a resume is well-structured, visually appealing, and follows standard formatting guidelines. This includes appropriate font styles and sizes, margin settings, and consistent spacing.
  • Customizing a resume to highlight skills, experiences, and achievements relevant to the job a candidate is applying for. They emphasize key accomplishments and use industry-specific language to make your resume stand out.
  • Incorporating relevant keywords and phrases into your resume to help it pass through applicant tracking systems (ATS). These systems scan resumes for specific keywords before human eyes see them, so optimizing for ATS can increase your chances of getting noticed.
  • Ensuring your resume is free from errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. They carefully review and edit your content to ensure it is clear and coherent.

If your resume is more than two pages long and you are unable to consolidate it on your own, Book a Complimentary Intro Consultation with Arno Markus, CEO & Founder of iCareerSolutions. iCS specializes in highlighting Executive, VP, & C-Space resume achievements in two pages. 

About iCareerSolutions

iCareerSolutions, America’s #1 Executive and Professional Resume Writing Services, Reverse Recruitment, and LinkedIn Profile Development Company. 28X award-winning resume writers deliver professional resumes that get interviews. We have successfully landed our executive clients senior-level leadership positions at companies like Apple, Amazon, EA, Oracle, GM, Google, Facebook, DoJ, Gap, and 2U just to name a few. iCareerSolutions has 200+ 5-star reviews and offers a 60-day interview guarantee. Every resume template created is Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) compatible and highly customized to meet your unique needs.

Active Members of The National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA) │ The Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARW&CC) │ Career Directors International (CDI) │ Career Professionals (CPC) │ Forbes Coaches Council

One of the Top Multi-Award-Winning Resume Writing Services in the country.

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