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Veterans Should Stick to a One-Page Resume

Even if you have a ton of experience you should have no more than a two-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 then 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.

1. Recruiters don't read past page one.

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 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.

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