Writing a resume is an art that can be difficult to master. You’re faced with the challenge of selling yourself to employers and showing that you’re the best person for the job, all while making sure that it isn’t a total nonsensical eye sore.
But here’s the kicker:
On top of the challenge of marketing yourself to a potential employer, you have to do so in a limited space. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering, “how long should my resume be?” Your most likely answer is one single page.
The goal here is to give yourself plenty of space on your resume, while still making it readable. Sound like enough of a challenge? Don’t panic! We’re here to help.
Keep reading to learn how to make your resume one page in five easy steps:
If you find yourself trying to cram a bunch of information into one page with a bunch of illegible sentences, consider changing your margins, line spacing, and font size instead.
The standard size for resume margins is 1 inch on all sides, but feel free to make them as small as ½ inch. If you go any smaller, your resume will look cramped and chaotic.
You can also adjust your font size line spacing to give yourself more room to tell employers about how awesome you are. Stick to using a single-spaced format, and make the body of your resume a 10 or 12 point serif font.
Even though the body of your resume is going to be in a fairly small font, your section headers are likely going to be slightly bigger, so you don’t want to throw in a bunch of different sections all willy-nilly. How do we fix this? Just merge similar sections, and you’ll cut down on all those pesky headings.
Make sure you only have three or four sections on your resume, these sections should be something like “Experience,” “Achievements,” “Education,” and “Skills and Interests.”
Combine your relevant professional and volunteer history under your “Experience” section, and lump all of your awards, achievements, or recognition under “Achievements.” If you have any hobbies, hard skills, or anything that could make you stand out as an ideal candidate, include it under “Skills and Interests.”
Your bullet points are the meatiest part of your resume. This is where you’re going to talk about your experience, and it’s what employers are going to be paying the most attention to when they scan your resume, so you’ll want to make them count.
Try to make your bullet points fit into one line, and absolutely no more than two. Condense your sentences to the most basic description of your former job duties, and make sure to mirror keywords that were used in the job listing.
If you choose to use resume buzzwords, make sure to only use the ones that employers care about, such as “Organized,” “Developed,” “Improved,” etc. There’s no sense wasting space with a bunch of meaningless words that everyone and their grandmother use to describe themselves.
Also, if you can, try to only list work and volunteer experiences that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you’re an entry-level candidate and you need to fill up some space on your resume, try to pick out the most relevant aspects of those unrelated jobs, and emphasize them in your bullet points.
No, you don’t have to actually kill anyone. Jeez, what kind of monsters do you think we are? By this, we simply mean that you should eliminate all flowery language, useless information, and outdated work or education experiences. It hurts, but it has to be done if you want to get the job.
First thing’s first — get rid of your resume objective statement, high school experience, and any mentions of “references available upon request.” Also, unless your employer specifically asks for it, ditch your GPA.
Now that you’re on a roll, it’s time to get rid of those boring, and essentially meaningless, soft skills. Instead, focus on highlighting your hard skills that make you more marketable and valuable as a candidate. If the job listing mentions specific skills needed for the position, make sure to mirror them on your resume.
Instead of giving every aspect of your personal and contact information their own individual lines, combine them all into one line, underneath your name, and voilà! You’ve got yourself a resume header!
In your header, list your phone number, your professional email address, your social media or portfolio, and the city you live in. Your header should be a few font sizes bigger than the body of your resume, but not so much that it takes up the whole page.
For more information on how to write format a resume header, check out this article.
Writing a compelling resume is hard work, and it just gets even more challenging when you’re forced to try to describe how awesome you are in one single page!
Your goal is to make the employer see that you’re the best person for the job within a limited amount of words and space, but with a little editing and adjustments to your formatting, you’re sure to outshine the competition.
Now it’s time to get out there and write a resume so compelling that you land an interview and get the job! Good luck!