While we all want to make our resume look as comprehensive as possible, we still need to have a one-page version. Trying to fit all of our information onto our resume may lead us to create a multiple-page document, but the truth is that not many recruiters manage to read past the first page.
Unless you are applying for a high-level job where you need to supply detailed information, most of us really need to focus on trimming down our resume to fit on just one 8.5×11″ document.
There is no harm in having two versions of your resume – one single page version and one longer multiple-page version. These can be very handy to keep on file for when an employer specifically asks you submit one or the other. A lot of employers will initially ask for a one-page resume, and then follow that up for a request for a more detailed resume for when they are creating a shortlist for interview.
Creating your one-page resume
So knowing that you will need to have a one-page resume, how exactly do you go about creating one without having to resort to using an eight-point font or trying to cram a lot of text into the available white space?
Here we take a look at some very useful tips to help you trim down your resume, and what you should definitely include, and what you can safely leave off.
1. Adjust your page layout
Although most people leave page margins at the pre-set default option, you can look at tweaking the margin width to give you a bit more elbow room. What you don’t want to do is to remove the margins completely, but cut them down to about half an inch. This way you will still have a defined white space edge and your resume won’t look really cramped together.
2. Merge sections together
We are all very used to seeing well-defined sections on our resume. While this does help to divide and separate out our information, creating lots of different sections requires space and room for large headings.
Try to limit your one-page resume to having only three or four distinct sections. This means you may need to merge or combine sections together. So for example you could combine your Skills and Hobbies into one section. Or if you have lots of different things you want to mention, why not add them as short bullet-point highlights under an ‘Extra Information’ section.
3. Condense information
Some of your information may not warrant having a single line dedicated to it. Look at ways of combining some of your information that may be important, but it doesn’t have a direct bearing on the job that you are applying for. For example, where you list your educational qualifications, instead of listing each qualification or achievement on a single line, condense them together and leave off any early or lower-level qualifications that an employer may not be interested in knowing about.
Treat you employment history in the same way. If you have created your work experience to read as your job title and company address in a block style with each part of the address on single lines, then you can free up some space by just putting your job title and company name on one single line and cut out the company address completely.
Even your own personal details can take a healthy trim. Many career experts recommend that you don’t include your home address on your resume just in case the employer judges candidate suitability depending on their location and proximity to the workplace. Simply including your name and contact number and email address will suffice here.
4. Adjust your line spacing and font size
Recruiters want to see resumes that are easy on the eye, so the need for your resume to have good line spacing is still important. However, you can maximize the space available by adjusting your line spacing to give you a little bit more room.
If you are using MS Word to create your resume, then you can manually change the line spacing between paragraphs and different sections. The default setting is actually quite generous, so even if you change it to shrink down the line spacing by half between paragraphs and sections, you will still get a defined visual space, but you can squeeze out an extra couple of free line spaces for more information by doing this.
While going as small as an 8-point font may mean certain eye-strain for a recruiter trying to read your resume, you can safely change to a 10-point font and still leave your resume perfectly readable. It would be wise to leave your name at least at a 14-point font if not larger.