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What Is a Two-column Resume?

One of the many challenges when writing a professional resume is ensuring you include all the necessary information in a clear and concise manner. You need to choose a resume layout that best highlights your strengths as a candidate. As you gain more skills, work experience and certifications, it becomes even more difficult to fit everything in. That's where a two-column resume comes in.

A two-column resume utilizes a two-column layout to fit all your sections onto a single page for a succinct summary for recruiters and hiring managers. This resume design is perfect for job seekers who have a lot of resume content to include. You can use our two-column resume templates to help with your job search, especially for those higher-level managerial roles that often require more experience and skills. Here's an example below:

Two-column Resume Example

Pros and Cons of Using a Two-column Resume

Here are some benefits and drawbacks to the two-column resume format that you should consider when creating a resume.

The Pros

Easy to Read

Containing all your information on one page with a basic resume format is great as it allows the hiring manager to scan your resume and get all the key information quickly. Using two columns can make use of all the available white space so that you can bullet point list more skills, experiences or professional qualifications. Using a free resume template can help you ensure that this is intuitive instead of cluttered.

Keeps Information Concise

The two-column resume forces you to carefully craft your bullet points so as to keep them concise; you can afford to use longer sentences on a one-column resume. You need to be selective about your chosen information to make the most of this simple resume layout.

Opportunity to Get Creative

A single-column resume can seem overused and a little plain. Incorporating two columns in a creative resume format can offer the chance to show a little flair. Graphic designers can play around with different modern resume templates to add special eye-catching features to make your resume stand out.

The Cons

While a one-page, two-column resume can be a great option, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider.

Not ATS-friendly

Many recruiters use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to quickly scan a number of CVs, especially when they have hundreds to sift through to hire for a position. These systems scan resumes to filter out any that don’t meet specific requirements. For instance, they may reject an application without contact information, for example. Sometimes, ATS systems aren’t formatted to accept two-column resumes, though you can usually combat this as long as you include very clear headers marking out your sections.

Can Look Cluttered

While there are many positives to using a two-column resume, those same positives can turn into a negative if not executed well. When choosing to include more skills and experiences in your resume, make sure to use professional resume templates to guide you. This will ensure your page doesn’t become too cluttered. For some jobs, like those that value many different certifications or awards, a two-page resume format may be a better option.

FAQ: Two-Column Resume

Using a resume template is a great idea as it allows you to use tried and tested resume formats to ensure your resume is clear and professional. You don’t need to start from scratch, which can be a challenging task. You’ll find plenty of resume templates, resume examples and resume samples at ResumeNerd. What’s more, take advantage of all the resume writing tips with our resume builder.

A cover letter is an integral accompaniment to a well-written resume as part of a professional job application. Your cover letter is your chance to expand on the details of your resume and show the recruiter why you’re the perfect candidate for the role. You can use it to explain specifically why you want to work for this company, using information shared in the job description and on the company website.

Regardless of your resume format, there are specific sections that you need to include in your resume. You need to share your contact information in the header so the hiring manager can contact you easily, including links to any job networking profiles such as your LinkedIn profile. You’ll need a resume < a href="">summary or objective providing an overview of your career history. You’ll also include three informative sections: your skills,
work experience
and education. You can build on this information in your cover letter.