Tips for Cutting Your Resume Down to One Page

When job-hunting, you're excited to tell a hiring manager exactly how much value you'll bring to the company—but that doesn't mean your resume should read like a novel. This is yet another time in life when less is more. In most cases, unless you're an upper-level executive, your resume should not extend past one page.

one page resume

There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, but you can do it. Here's how:

Remember The Resume's Purpose

Your resume is designed to get you an invitation for an interview, not the job. A concise, bulleted list focused on the position at hand will catch hiring managers' attention as they sift through potentially hundreds of applications. Increasingly, companies rely on an application tracking system (ATS) to cull through applications, and if your resume doesn't contain keywords from the job posting, it won't make the cut. It's more work, but it's a good idea to tailor your resume for each posting.

Include Relevant, Recent Experience Only

A mid-career professional doesn't need to list a part-time job flipping burgers in college (a recent college graduate, however, would want to, as such work experience shows self-reliance and responsibility). Similarly, when you're applying for another job in the banking industry, a brief foray into real estate isn't worthy of inclusion unless you need it to explain an employment gap.

Avoid Filler Language

You don't need an "objective"—obviously you're "seeking a meaningful opportunity in which you can grow as a professional while contributing to a team." Similarly, delete "references available upon request." That's a given.

Use Bullet Points, And Omit Unnecessary Words

Bullet points are easy to scan and showcase your ability to communicate concisely. As you write your bullet points, strive to use as few words as possible. For example, "I managed media relations and served as an external spokesperson" could easily become "Served as media spokesperson." Look for pronouns (I, we) and articles (a, an, the) to trim.

Keep Your Educational Information Brief

If you have a college degree, you do not need to list your high school. You might be asked to provide that information later as part of a formal application for HR, but you don't need to include it on your resume. Similarly, unless a posting specifically asks for it, don't include your GPA.

List Your Contact Info On One Line

Use the vertical bar on your keyboard to separate your email address, phone number, and LinkedIn profile info or professional website. Including a LinkedIn profile lets hiring managers know they can see more info about your qualifications online.

Format With Care

It's completely acceptable to format your resume with half-inch margins to create space. Just don't go too small with font size—hiring managers won't get out a magnifying glass to read your resume. Look for "orphans" (single words at the end of a paragraph), and edit sections to bring orphans up to the previous line.

Ask For Help

Find a trusted friend who will proofread your resume and recommend cuts. A friend will have a more objective eye for spotting fluff and jargon. "Responsible for implementing cutting-edge technology for company monitoring of social media campaigns" sounds even more impressive as "Implemented social media monitoring solution."

Once you've cut your resume down to one page, proofread it, have a friend proofread it, and then proofread it again, save it as a PDF. A Word doc might have formatting issues, depending on which version of Word you're using and the fonts installed on your computer or the hiring manager's. A PDF puts you in control of the final product's appearance.

Remember, once you've landed an interview, you'll have the opportunity to go into more detail. Good luck!

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