Myth-Busting: The One-Page Resume

January 12th, 2012

Ever wondered why you go on one interview after the next but never seem to get the job?  Or perhaps you have been submitting one resume after the other but just can’t seem to get a shot at an interview.  Well, this series of blogs, The Making of a Star Candidate, may be just what you need to fine-tune your skills and bring your job search to the next level.

The second post in this series is dedicated to debunking a well known myth—the one-page resume.  Almost weekly, candidates ask us about this, and they oftentimes are seasoned professionals who simply cannot get it down to one page without scrapping tons of great material!  Well, the good news is that the days of the one-page resume requirement have come to an end!  But before you pop open the bubbly, let’s dive in and see what impact this has on your next resume update.

So why did this whole one-page limit come into existence in the first place?  Back in the day, employers were flooded with resumes that were so “fluffed up” that it was impossible to reach the heart of the document and the applicant’s actual qualifications.  So the reaction was to make the rule that all resumes should be only one page long because it forced candidates to be very concise and include only the most pertinent information.

These days, resume styles have changed a bit.  For example, the current trend encourages applicants to create a summary section and a skills section at the beginning of the resume.  So with that information taking up one third of the page, how does one then fit all his or her expert experience within the remaining one-half page of space?  The answer is, you don’t!  Instead, the applicant should do the unthinkable—go on to a second page.

Of course, there is a rather large “but” coming up right about now.  Applicants cannot allow this new trend to excuse a return to the fluffy two-page resume.  While it is okay now to proceed to a second page, it’s still important to approach the resume writing with the same pithiness and exactitude used when trying to keep everything to one page.  Otherwise, the dreaded one-page resume trend may once again rear its ugly head!

So here’s the take-home message for you on this topic.  If you are able to convey your experience AND keep the resume to one page, absolutely do so.  However, if staying to one page means you cut out quality experience that is applicable to the position for which you are applying, then go on to a second page.  Always remember that the purpose of your resume is to convince the reader to call you for an interview.  And based on studies, your resume has about 30 seconds to accomplish that goal, so make every second of that review count by fashioning a concise, brilliant resume.

2 Responses to “Myth-Busting: The One-Page Resume”

  1. Get Ready for an Upward Move in your Career | Johnson & Hill Staffing Says:

    [...] This means that you may need to go on to a second page, which is perfectly acceptable.  Click here for more information on resume length.  To stand out from others, ensure the resume is thorough [...]

  2. Brush Up Your Skills for September Job Applications | Johnson & Hill Staffing Says:

    [...] you have to stand out and is the key to landing an interview.  Check out some tips on the one-page resume myth and also explore some basic resume advice.  Both offer excellent ideas on how to tweak this very [...]

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