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Stick to a 1 page resume

If you have a lot of experience you should have no more than a 2 page resume. Just leave off the oldest jobs. But if you are young and either a recent grad or one who has been in the workforce for only a few years than all you need is a one page resume! Don't make recruiters read too much.

Here are three points to consider before you send in a multi-page resume to your next job opening.

  • Recruiters don't read past page 1. There is a general rule that if you have more than 10 years of experience, including significant leadership and/or academic publications, you can consider a two page resume. While that is true, I never actually read the second page of a resume very closely at all and I don’t expect anyone who requests my resume does either. 

For any position I post, I get hundreds of applications and experience has taught me how to make up my mind on whether the person is going to advance to a phone screen based on the first half of the first page a resume. The truth is that I don’t have time to delve into detail on most resumes. Even if I do skim a second page, there is nothing on there that would ever change my mind-  your conference attendance is not a game changer in my decision making process. So highlight your awesomeness at the beginning of your resume if you want to capture a recruiter’s attention. 

2. Forced choices will make you write better. This is true of anything you write, but especially a resume. If you aim to make your resume as concise as possible and eliminate all unneeded words, add numbers, and remove anything duplicated in another section, you will make a stronger document that will tell your story very directly and to the point. This is one of the reasons that I rely on the beginning of the resume in my decision making process. If you have great writing skills, odds our interview will be good, too. 

3. LinkedIn and the internet can help tell a more interesting story.A resume is really just a marketing document that gives someone just what they need to want to bring you in for an interview…. or click on a link and read more information about you. In my book, I confess that I look up candidates online that I am on the fence about. In some cases, I use a tool called Rapportive (https://rapportive.com/), a tool for my email that shows me a contact’s social media profiles, but if there is a link in a resume, I just go there. You can use your LinkedIn profile or personal website to tell a narrative story about what you can do in a creative way and include the information that did not make your one-page resume but you still think is relevant.Again, being direct always helps- start with the most interesting stuff and then bring in supporting details. 

Stick to a concise one-page resume that highlights your best self- and makes the use of your hiring manager’s time- and you’ll reap more benefits than creating a multi-page list of everything you’ve ever done.  These resume tools may give you a hand in creating yours.