I need a one-page resume!

Tips on effectively limiting your resume to a single page

one pageThe general rule for entry-level job seekers is to limit your resume to one page (and rarely a challenge for this demographic), but experienced candidates may also find themselves with a resume that is just one or two lines onto a second page. Follow these tips to bring your resume within one page without cutting significant content or selling yourself short.

Adjust your margins. I recommend going no smaller than 0.5” all around to preserve readability and retain ample white space.

Edit for concision. “Developed and managed a training program that was used throughout the company” can be trimmed to “Developed/managed companywide training program.”

Edit for widows. Eliminate those pesky words that take up an entire line.

Avoid tables, columns, or other space-hogging design elements. These items have their place in certain formats, but take up more space than a standard paragraph or bulleted list.

List your job title on the same line as your employer name, location, and dates. For example:

Manager: ABC Company, Frederick, MD                     2007 to 2008

Combine sections. Do you have separate Education and Professional Training sections? How about separate Professional Memberships and Community Memberships sections? Consider merging them.

Last but not least, edit for relevancy (if you haven’t already). It can be tricky to decide what to cut, so as you review your resume, ask yourself this question: Who cares about this? If the answer is anyone but your future employer (including yourself), perhaps you should cut it. Also, requesting an outside opinion from a trusted colleague or mentor can be extremely helpful in the editing process.

While beliefs vary on how long a resume should be – and the appropriate resume length will change from job seeker to job seeker – it can be agreed upon that concision and clarity are essential. If you can fill two pages with stellar content, by all means, use a two-page resume. If you can tell your whole story in one page and compel the reader to interview you, even better.

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