Updated: May 18, 2020
When I tell people what I do for a living, the first question is always 'how long should my resume be?'.
They usually also ask if it's true that modern resumes are only meant to be one page.
(This is usually said with mild panic... how on earth are you supposed to get a resume down to one page?!)
Well, the good news is that in Australia resumes are normally longer than one page. (Fun fact: In North America a one to two page resume is common.)
So why have you heard of a one page resume? It's because page one of your resume should be a summary page.
The front page of your resume should summarise who you are, your unique selling points and key strengths, your key achievements and have a career snapshot.
The first page should include:
Your name and contact details (mobile, email, LinkedIn URL)
A professional profile
A skills/strengths summary
A few key achievements from across your career
A career summary or snapshot (list of jobs and years)
This front page should really sell you to the prospective employer. They need to quickly understand your experience and see that you have the skills to do the job. And your achievements should make you stand out from the crowd.
A great first page will make them want to read on for further details, and hopefully invite you in for an interview!
The rest of your resume (don't go past four pages unless you are a published academic or researcher) will cover your career history, education etc.
So if you don't have a summary front page, it's time to update your resume!