When entering the job market, you will need all the information you can get to fill one page of your resume. But as you gain experience, the information to add to your resume keeps increasing to the point that you will have difficulty fitting it into two or three pages.
Hiring managers do not have the time to read pages of information to know what you can do, so the aim is always to keep it as short as possible. This guide offers tips on summarizing your resume to fit on a single page, even when you have years of experience.
Adjust the Margins
If you want to add a little more space on your page, playing around with margins can be an excellent way to achieve that. If you are creating your resume on MS word, the default margins will be one inch on both sides.
You can try to adjust your margins to leave at most 0.5 inches, which would add one inch to your writing space. While seemingly small, there is a lot you can fit on one inch running from the top to the bottom of your page.
Use Smaller Fonts
If adjusting your margins doesn’t do the trick, you can consider reducing your font size. The generally acceptable font size for a font like New Times Romans is 12 points.
But if you are pressed for space on your resume, you can minimize it to 11.5 or 11 points, but it should not be less than 10 points. Anything below 10 points is considered unreadable by most audiences and can have your application rejected even when you could have the skills needed for a particular position.
Only List Work and Education That Is Relevant for the Target Position
Every training and job you get is worth mentioning when getting started on the job hunt. But not all skills are worth mentioning as you advance in your career. Therefore, you will need to look at what is relevant for the particular position you are hoping to fill.
There is also a chance that relevant skills will be more than can fit in the limited space you have. Under such circumstances, you will want to consider which has the most relevance and pick two or three of them.
Even as you mention them, ensure that you only do it briefly. For example, only list your employer, positions, and the time you worked there. Also, ensure that you use the keywords in the target job description because they will be some of the things the employer and resume-scanning bots will be looking for.
Look at Other Resumes for Inspiration
Shrinking information to fit in a single space is easier said than done. In most cases, you could feel like you are leaving out the necessary information. The best source of inspiration is looking at resume examples to get inspired and see what works or doesn’t.
You could wonder where to find such resumes in one place. Luckily some resume-building websites such as Resume Build have many resume examples for any industry you could think of and can be an excellent resource for you.
Use Creative Resume Forms
Different resume layouts and formats often have varying space usage. For example, a one-column resume can mean that all the space on the right-hand side of a short sentence or bullet point goes to waste.
So you can consider having two or three columns to minimize space wastage. Luckily you do not have to create layouts from scratch. You can leverage online resume templates that often have all the sections you need ready, which means you will only need to enter your details to personalize it.
Edit Out Fluff
When writing your resume, it is possible to end up with a relatively longer resume than you envisioned which is perfectly fine. So the next step would be editing the unnecessary words to leave only the words you need to make your point.
For example, instead of saying “day-to-day activities,” you could say “daily activities,” which takes up less space. Also, you could replace paragraphs that require connectors with concise bullet points.
Does a Resume Have to Be One Page?
A resume doesn’t always have to be one page. Its length will depend on the industry. If you are making an application in a traditional industry, a two-page resume may be ideal, but it should not be any longer than two.
But most organizations are experiencing significant changes as more Millennials and Gen Zs take managerial positions. Unlike baby boomers, younger employers are looking for concise and direct-to-the-point resumes and may not have the time to read a two-page resume.
Also, many recruiters use AI in the shortlisting process. In most cases, AI tools will show a preference for one-page resumes, so if you are unsure who your target employer is, it’s best to go for a one-page resume.