Don’t Let Resume Creep Overwhelm Job Search

Resume bullets

Q. I am applying for my first full-time job at several agencies, but no matter how much I edit, I still can’t get my resume down to one page. I have had four internships and was active in several campus organizations, while also working part-time. Even if I use 9-point type I need an extra half page. Does it really matter if resumes are more than one page? -DK

A.  Because most resumes are viewed electronically rather than hard copy, resume creep is taking place and it doesn’t necessarily increase your job prospects. You will be wise to continue editing since a one-page resume can be far more powerful than a lengthy one that attempts to oversell your actual experience. Recruiters and hiring managers see hundreds of resumes, and the ones that ultimately get separated from the stack have the following characteristics:

  • Use a standard resume design with no frills and irrelevant graphics. If you need help with format design, check various templates available from Microsoft and others.
  • Never use a smaller than 11-point type.
  • Consider the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 rule of bullet points. In other words, the most bullet points for current position and reduce them as you explain older jobs. If you’ve only had a couple of internships, you might want to use two sentences to describe what you actually did in the job. Bullet points might not be required, or use fewer of them.
  • Avoid reciting your job description. Instead, prioritize accomplishments. If you’ve achieved the same sort of results in previous positions, don’t repeat those points under other jobs.
  • Don’t waste space with unnecessary words. For instance, “References Upon Request” is a given so don’t say it.

1 comment on this post.
  1. Sandy Charet:

    Great resume tips!!
    I so agree.

    If a PR vet with 10+ years of solid experience can fit his/her resume onto one page, then there’s no reason someone starting out can’t do the same.

    Just saying where you did your internship is enough for me.

    Thank you Ron, for considering the poor overworked eyes of the recruiter. I love to see space on the resume. Love your other tips too.

Leave a comment