Myth Busted: The One-Page Resume

August 24, 2021

The resume originated back in the 1400’s by none other than Leonardo De VinciBack then, the resume was written as a letter. Over the past 500 years, the resume evolved through a variety of formats and a few myths emerged. Today we are busting the 1-page myth and providing guidance to capitalize on your resume’s square footage.

A one-page resume is recommended for entry or junior-level candidates with limited work experience. You’ve likely achieved quite a bit more in your career as you gained more work experience. When you have 7-10+ years’ experience, your resume should reflect your relevant career achievements and professional growth (differentiating your skills from a more junior level candidate) and will likely land closer to 1.5-2 pages.

What you’ve accomplished is significantly more important than if the resume fits a single page. 

Find the happy medium. A resume is considered too long if it is more than 3 pages. Keep in mind that the average hiring manager spends less than 60 seconds on your resume. Bullet points (vs paragraph style) are essential to capture your audience. Dial it back and focus on the key achievements. If your resume is 1.25-1.5 pages and you think it can be one page, by all means, make it happen. But know that the length of the resume is not as important as the content within. Here are a few quick tricks to scale it down:

  • The most recent 10 years of experience is the most relevant to showcase on the resume
  • Adjust the margins to a half-inch (.5”) on all sides instead of wasting precious real estate
  • Reduce those older experiences from years ago from 10 bullets to the most important 4 achievements
  • Reduce the font size from 12 to 11… maybe 10.5 if it is legible
  • Calibri often takes less space than Arial. Play with different legible font types to see what saves space
  • Your name should be bigger than the rest… but does not need to take up a third of the page. Size 14 and bold should do the trick to help your name stand out.
  • Switch up your page format from modern to a more classic format that allows more space for your experience and achievements to fit (rather than fancy side margins that reduce your “Experience” section to less than half the page)

To create a value-driven resume, you first need to write down your strengths (product innovation, go-to-market activations, optimizing the DTC platform, etc.) and define the impact you’ve made using quantifiable data (revenue increased $X, negotiated and saved $X, increased conversion from X to Y, etc.). Click Here to read this article: Creating a Value Driven Resume

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