Editing Your Resume Down to One Page
In my last article, “Is One Page Enough?”, I explored just a few of the many reasons that a single page resume is appreciated and preferred by many employers and recruiters. Unfortunately, knowing this does not make actually shortening your resume to fit on one page (while keeping crucial content) any easier. If you are finding yourself continuously stuck in a multiple page resume rut, consider the following ways to create a more condensed and concise resume.
- Shrink Your Margins
If you are reluctant to cut content out of your resume, ignore what you learned in school and ditch the one inch margin rule. Skimming a little off the sides of your resume will almost certainly go unnoticed, but what a recruiter or employer will notice is the effort that went into keeping your resume a single page in length for their convenience.
2. Only Include Recent and Applicable Job Experience
Employers and recruiters do not need to know about every job experience that you have had since you started working as a teenager. Chances are that the summer you spent flipping burgers in high school is not recent or applicable to the job that you are applying for, but it does take up valuable real-estate on your resume.
3. Eliminate Unnecessary Words
Embellishing skills and experience by using exaggerated and expressive language is one way that applicants try to engage recruiters and employers who are reading their resume. However, a seasoned professional will see these unnecessary words and phrases for what they are-filler. Eliminating filler words will not only help you to shorten your resume but it will also make it easier for the reader to locate the information they need to determine if you are a candidate that they would like to interview.
4. Customize for Industry and Position
Resumes that are “one size fits all” are typically longer since they don’t focus solely on the areas that are directly related to the position and industry being applied for. As you edit your resume, ask yourself which areas you should highlight that showcase your ability to succeed if hired.
5. Avoid Repetition
If you have worked in similar industries or positions, chances are that many of your job responsibilities have been the same. Instead of including the same list of responsibilities under each job that you have held, focus on the skills and responsibilities that were unique to each. Avoiding repetition will help you to shrink your resume down while impressing the reader with the variety of skills that you bring to the table.
6. Use a Smaller Font
This may seem obvious, but if you are still struggling to fit that last line or two on the first page, try playing with the size of the font. The information on your resume still needs to be legible of course, so try 11.5 or 11 pt font sizes if you are trying to avoid a multiple page resume.
7. Adjust Spacing
If you typically double space between lines, bullet points, and sections, you may find that adjusting the spacing will help you to keep your resume on one page. Since single spacing between sections will make your resume look too cramped, it is important to find a happy medium between double and single spacing that will make your resume look polished and readable. Simply select “No Space” in your toolbar, press the “Enter” key, and adjust the font size to create a space that generates necessary separation while limiting the amount of wasted space on your resume.
8. Think Horizontal
Even when you are aware of the benefits of limiting your resume to a single page, it can feel intimidating to fit all of the information that you want to portray onto one page. Although intimidating, it is possible to do so and still stand out in a crowd through editing the format and only including relevant information.
When you are editing your resume, thinking horizontally instead of vertically can help you to save space. What this means is that you should utilize your space from left to right, instead of making several vertical laundry lists that push your resume to two or three pages.