We’ve all been told the cardinal rule of resume writing. Concision. Get as much information into as few words as possible, present everything cleanly and clearly and—no matter what—stuff it all into one easy-to-read page.
That’s fantastic advice 99.9% of the time. For the most part, you don’t want to give too much away. Save some details for the interview, and make sure everything in the resume is screaming that you deserve one. You want to make sure you stand out from the crowd and make the cut.
However, there are certain situations when a multiple page resume might be called for. Here are some good general rules of thumb.
One Page Resume
When you have fewer than 10 years in your field—whether you’re just starting out or are making a major career change and have yet to gather the requisite wealth of experience. Or if you’ve had multiple positions with the same company or employer.
Two Page Resume
If you’re pushing 10+ years experience in your field, particularly in your particular sphere. Or if you are in a field requiring a good deal of technical, engineering, or other specific bits of knowledge and background qualifications which you need to list out in detail.
Three Page Resume
If you’re an academic or a scientist and you have numerous speaking engagements, publications, patents, professional service, courses, etc. to list. At this point, this is less a resume and more of a C.V. Also if you’re in a senior level or you’re an executive and you have a massive laundry list of leadership accolades to list.
If you’re new to your field, or to the workforce in general, follow the well-established rules you’re told. But if you feel you’ve developed past the one-page point, try expanding your space and see how it pans out.