Entry-Level Resumes Should be One Page Only

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In the past few days, I have been asked the same question by three readers: “Does a resume have to be kept to one page?” In a weak moment, I told one active student that she could get away with more than a page—but I later had second thoughts and decided to check with several recruiters.

Weber Shandwick recruiting director Janeen Savage says entry-level resumes should never be more than one page. “A resume is a marketing tool, be concise and focus resumes on your selling points,” Janeen says. “If you have less than 10 years of professional experience, target your resume to one page.”

Other professionals agree.

“At the junior levels, from student to AE or even SAE, one page is appropriate,” adds Carol Gronlund, SVP, Human Resources, Zeno Group. “They should focus on coursework and work experience that is relevant to a PR role and try to eliminate redundancy.”

Carol suggests avoiding resume repetition. “If you had three internships and did blogger outreach at each one, don’t list it three times. Instead, list blogger outreach as a skill and list the unique blogger communities you’ve touched under the appropriate job.”

Edelman senior vice president of recruitment Travis Kessel says managers and recruiters generally have a negative reaction to college students with two pages of info in a resume. “They need to remember to keep it to accomplishments and incorporate tasks in each bullet,” Travis says. “Their goal is to get an interview, not land the job with the resume. Leave some mystery.”

Keep in mind that the average initial review time for a resume is 20 seconds. To stand out with busy recruiters, follow the KISS Rule—keep it short and simple. Later in your career, perhaps after four or five jobs, you can add a second page to your resume. But realize that many senior professionals still abide by the one-page rule–and get hired. Move key points that don’t fit on your resume to your LinkedIn profile.

Check out other resume tips from past blog posts, including ways to make your resume more eye catching during those 20 short seconds of initial review.

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