I only write one-page resumes, and you should too.
The first decision a recruiter makes about you is whether they want to read your resume or reject it.
With so many people applying for the same job, recruiters only spend 7 seconds deciding if you’re a fit for the position, so they have a low tolerance for reading long, confusing resumes.
Give yourself a competitive edge over other job applicants by submitting a one-page resume.
The recruiter will be grateful that you saved them time, and you’ll reap the benefits of gentle pursuasion.
A one-page resume puts you in control
Writing a one-page resume puts you in control of the conversation you’ll have with the hiring manager during the interview. When you only include your past responsibilities and results that match up directly with what the hiring manager is looking for, then you increase the odds of your resume being picked for an interview.
The biggest mistake I see people make is that they believe being employed longer means having a longer resume. That’s simply not true.
Think of your resume as being quality over quantity. Entry-level resumes and executive-level resumes should be the same length (one page) but show different results.
If you’re just starting out in your career, your resume may not have as many business results compared to responsibilities. As you move up in your career, that should flip.
Here are two examples.
Allison is an entry-level marketing coordinator. She’s responsible for posting messages to social media, proofreading blog posts, and managing website content. Her responsibilities are more execution-based.
The bullet points on Allison’s resume should focus on her contributions to the marketing team’s goals.
“Established and managed all digital marketing channels, expanding the company’s online footprint and increasing brand awareness by 40%.”
Allison’s boss is Tom. Tom is a marketing director. He’s responsible for growing social media followers, managing all content marketing activities, and increasing traffic to the company website. His responsibilities are more strategy-based because he leads a team that executes based on the goals he sets for the team.
The bullet points on Tom’s resume should focus on his team’s contributions to the company’s goals.
“Developed integrated digital marketing campaigns, surpassing impression, engagement, and conversion goals by 45% in strategic growth markets.”
Just because Tom has worked longer than Allison, does not mean he should have a longer resume than she has.
Get into the mindset of reducing the number of bullet points and lining them up with what’s being asked in the job description. If the job description isn’t asking for it, don’t include it.
Not everything in your work history is important to the hiring manager for each position you apply for.
I realize this is a new way of thinking, but trust me, it’s the best way to get a recruiter to pull your resume for an interview.
And it’s the best way for you to control what you get asked about during an interview.
Your resume does not have to include every job you’ve had
The person who is about to hire you doesn’t care about your complete work history. She doesn’t care about every responsibility you’ve ever had at every job you’ve ever had. Don’t force her to read about all of the stuff in your past that doesn’t relate to what she needs you to do now.
What she does care about is what you can do for her and the company over the next few years.
Take off any work experience on your resume that’s older than 10 years. The only exception to that rule is if you’ve been at the same company for more than 10 years. Then keep it.
Again, I know this is probably not what you’ve read or been told about how to write your resume.
You have to remember that you want to get chosen for an interview, so you need to make sure that you use the space on your resume wisely.
Don’t include old stuff. Recruiters do not care about what you did in the 80s and 90s. What matters is what you’ve done in the last 5 years.
Make your one-page resume easy to skim
No one likes to read. We all want to skim everything.
I’ve gone through and updated every blog post on this website so that you don’t have to read paragraphs with more than three sentences.
I use line breaks more than I thought was humanly possible, and that’s because I want you to be able to quickly scroll and read my posts on your phone.
Hiring manager and recruiters are people too. And they don’t like to read either.
Don’t make the recruiter figure out how all of your work experience ties to the position. It’s not a riddle, it’s a resume.
For this reason (and several others) you should NEVER write a “functional” or “combination” resume. They’re too confusing to figure out and it seems like you’re hiding something.
Use headlines and section breaks to make your resume skimmable. And for god’s sake, if you have paragraphs on your resume, get rid of them immediately by editing them into short bullet points.
My personal resume is only one page. One of the best compliments I ever received was during an interview when the recruiter said to me, “You know, I really like your resume. It was so easy to read and it looks really nice.”
Bingo! Check! Now hire me!
Your resume has only one goal
Always keep in mind that the point of your resume is to get you an interview. That’s all.
For every bullet point on your resume, ask yourself:
Am I proud of this example?
Is it impressive?
Can I tell a story about it?
If your response is no to any of these questions, don’t include it. It’s that simple.
There is a quiet confidence in saying less with more, so keep your resume short, simple, and impactful.
It should say just enough that it persuades the recruiter to interview you. If it doesn’t, then it’s going to the bottomless pit of rejected resumes in the applicant tracking system.
If you need help cutting your resume down to one page, let’s chat.