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Should a resume only be one page?


Specializes in Critical Care.

I sent my advisor my resume, and she expanded it from one page to two. She included detailed information on all my clinical rotations (ive done 900 hours by graduation) and included specific information like how many beds each facility had, etc.

I thought resumes look more professional if they are consise, about one page long. I included clinical experience, total clinical hours, one relative job experience at a dr's office with listed job description, certifications including ACLS and PALS, and one reference who is the MD that I worked for, a first place prize I won for presenting a research study on osteosarcoma and the relative nursing process, and the fact that I am an SNA member. Anything else I should add/take away? Is two pages ok or one?

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

Typically, resumes should be two pages in length. If you google 'nurse resumes' you will find examples on the net. Monster.com also has a resume section. And yes, you should have a section for awards and certifications obtained on your resume.

I agree with the comment, two pages are fine, but use one inch margins, 10 or 12 font and arial, helvetica or times roman. You can choose a chronological, functional or a combined method. Make sure your name, address, email, etc is on the second page (if you choose to use a second page).

Jolie, BSN

Specializes in Maternal - Child Health. Has 34 years experience.

In a word, yes.

As a former nurse manager and now hiring manager in a different field, I respectfully disagree with the previous posters.

Unless you have years of education and experience, a 1 page resume should suffice, and IMO, is desirable. When I post a position, I typically receive a number of responses. The first step in my decision making process is to sort thru resumes and "rank" them in terms of "desirability." I like to read short, clear, concise descriptions of education, clinical experience, volunteer experience and work history. Anything that is overly wordy leaves me with the impression (correct or not) that the writer has an overblown opinion of his/her education & experience, or is incapable of sorting the important from the unimportant. Neither makes a good impression on a hiring manager.

When a manager reviews the resume of a recent graduate of an approved nursing education program, it is generally safe to assume that that candidate had completed a basic course of clinical study including the main areas of adult health, maternal child health, acute care, LTC, inpatient and outpatient care. Reading long, detailed descriptions of these experiences is unnecessary and a waste of my time. What is interesting to me is this: Any unusual, in-depth clinical experience in a specialty area related to the position for which you are applying. For example, if you did your senior clinical rotation in an OR and were allowed to assist the scrub and circulating nurses, by all means, let me know that. If you had a 3 month externship in the NICU, do tell! But please don't bore me with chapter and verse of your geriatric rotation, your time on the renal floor and your patient counseling in the STD clinic. It's not unique. By virtue of your newly minted diploma, I can pretty much figure out that you did those things:)

I would also like to know about your volunteer and work experience, healthcare related or not. Again, by graduating, you have pretty much proven that you can take temps and dress wounds. I want to know if you have a reliable history of coming to work (or volunteer) on time, if you take direction well, if you get along with co-workers, if you are flexible in your work hours/assignments, if you demonstrate initiative, if you handle constructive criticism well. I can formulate an impression of these questions from your volunteer/work history. It's nice if it involved healthcare experience, but lawn care, babysitting, and fast food are far better than nothing, and should be included on your 1 page resume.

If you have limited work experience, and nothing healthcare related, you might want to consider volunteering or finding a service organization to work with. These are nice additions to a "limited" resume, and far more impressive in my mind than some puffed-up description of a basic clinical rotation.

Good luck to you!

modernhippie_, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care.

thank you everyone! I do not have any experience except one job, so my resume can be one page without be having to cut anything out


Specializes in ICU.

Think about which would have more impact.

Flipping back and forth between two pages ... or one page, in your face, BOOM!


akanini, MSN, RN

Has 12 years experience.

I always believed a resume should be one page. My mom has been a nurse for 33 years and has a two page resume. I've been a nurse for 3.5 years so one is good.


Specializes in Rehab/LTC. Has 2 years experience.

Keep it to one page. No doubts.

I had more than one page b/4. advised by a professional to reduce it to one page. I think one page is kul

newtinmpls, BSN, RN

Specializes in Dementia & Psychiatry.

When I hear from HR, they say "one page". Although I've heard many other sources (such as advisors, etc.) say that more than one page is okay - since they are not HR, they are not going to be hiring me (or tossing my two pages into the trash).

One page.


whichone'spink, BSN, RN

Has 3 years experience.

I have a lot of stuff on my resume, stuff I think is necessary such as certifications, memberships, activities and the like. I put the most important stuff like my education and my clinical and non-clinical experience on the first page, for what it's worth. I just can't whittle it down to one page for the life of me.


Specializes in geroPsych/alzheimers specialist. Has 42 years experience.

I have 41 years in the field (42 come sept 15th) and still find the 1 page short and sweet is the best approach with the "hook line' "will discuss at length my experience during interview if employer wishes"..Employers have told me that the experience when posted shows professional endurance and the "love of nursing" and that the willingness to discuss that shows openess and pride! One page has worked for me and using the 'hook" phrases makes them very interested for the interview.

I have 41 years in the field (42 come sept 15th) and still find the 1 page short and sweet is the best approach with the "hook line' "will discuss at length my experience during interview if employer wishes"..Employers have told me that the experience when posted shows professional endurance and the "love of nursing" and that the willingness to discuss that shows openess and pride! One page has worked for me and using the 'hook" phrases makes them very interested for the interview.

How do you format your hook line into the resume itself?

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 9 years experience.

Honestly I think it matters less now than it did a few years ago. Almost everything is online now, and you're most likely submitting a resume through email or an online application. On the screen, you just scroll through it. It doesn't matter whether your resume is one page or two when it's on the computer. So if you're submitting electronically, don't stress to get it down to one page. If you need the extra space to really sell yourself and highlight your experience, then do it.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

It depends on the circumstances.

If you are a new grad with little to say, then 1 page is just fine.

But if you are experienced and/or applying for an advanced position, I would hope you would have more to say than would fit on 1 page. Cutting out important content to keep it that short can be risky. Though sometimes, it's a good idea to have a couple different version -- a 1-pager as an introduction, plus a longer version to submit as a follow-up once you have gotten their attention.

newtinmpls, BSN, RN

Specializes in Dementia & Psychiatry.

I can see the advantage to having the whole CV (and I'm not even going to try to spell it) available, including CEUs and articles written and so on. However if you can't summarize to one page - that says something about your writing skills - I know for me it's a major pain to limit anything. I have a big mouth on many levels. So I look at it as a challenge. I can always say MORE..



Specializes in Paediatrics. Has 5 years experience.

In my experience having a two page resume is fine. I've been offered (with God's grace) every job I've applied for and can't see how it's feasible to outline your skills, job experiences and awards in one.

At the same time I'm from Australia so managers may have different expectations for what is considered an appropriate resume.

I do believe in a concise well thought out cover letter however. I think it speaks volumes on your interest and knowledge of the organisation you're applying to. A specific cover letter I think will win out over a generalised one majority of the time.

Either way best of luck! There's been some really interesting opinions from both sides.

i heard that even if you submit two pages, most managers and/or HR will only look at the first page--so my advice, but sure to put your best information on the first page!