For many entry-level job seekers, a one page resume is easy to create. But for those who have extensive work experience, keeping a resume to just one page can be a challenge.
There are benefits to using a one page resume. For instance, they’re great for networking events. And the limited space forces you to be concise and strategic about the details you include. This sort of thoughtfulness is essential to grabbing a recruiter’s attention. But one page resumes can be limiting, too.
So, is a single-page resume right for you? Read on to find out.
Are One Page Resumes Really Best?
Not always. It used to be best practice to condense your experience, no matter how extensive, onto a single page. Today, two-page resumes are plenty popular and embraced by recruiters. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should use two pages.
The main priority in resume writing is the presentation of your work experience and skills. Recruiters should be able to find what they’re looking for at a glance. You can achieve this by paying close attention to formatting and avoiding verbosity. That means trimming the fat wherever you can.
Once you’ve done away with everything that does not directly apply to the position or your value as a candidate, you may still have two pages. In those cases, feel free to use a two-page resume.
When to Use a One Page Resume
In some scenarios, a one-page resume is the best choice. Recent graduates or entry level workers, for instance, will not benefit from extending their resumes to two pages. Recruiters see hundreds of resumes per day and are unlikely to be impressed by length. In fact, a two page resume could dilute the power of your relevant experience and end up hurting you in the end.
A one page resume is also frequently the right choice for seasoned professionals who are making career changes. Hiring managers won’t be interested in seeing your achievements as a retail manager if you’re applying for a position as a park ranger. Not to say that you should leave that experience off your resume altogether, but the bulk of your limited word count should be used on relevant experience, skills, and education.
When to Go Beyond a One Page Resume
If you have extensive relevant experience, you’ll want to include it on your resume. Two page resumes are often best for job seekers with five or more years of work history. Don’t be afraid to use a second page if you need more space to tell your story. Do continue to be concise and engaging.
Read more: How Long Should a Resume Be?
Tips for Fitting Your Resume on One Page
One page resumes are often much stronger than two-page resumes because of their economy and focus. To achieve the powerful brevity recruiters love to see, try these tips.
Write a strong headline.
Resume headlines quickly communicate who you are as a candidate and grab the attention of hiring managers from the start. A strong resume headline should stand out visually near the top of your resume, include the job title, be concise, and be compatible with the position to which you’re applying.
Include relevant skills only.
Although you may have many professional skills, you don’t need to include those that are irrelevant to the job. Tailoring the skills section of your resume to the job is essential for both brevity and concentration.
Resume keywords are used by both human recruiters and applicant tracking systems (ATS) to quickly identify promising candidates. Limiting your resume to one page can help improve the number of keywords a recruiter or hiring manager sees at first glance. Use Jobscan to optimize your resume keywords.
Use strong language.
A boring or flowery two page resume is no match for a concise and interesting one page resume. Use the active voice and action verbs where possible. See our collection of over 1000 resume words to elevate the language on your resume.
Provide more information online.
Your LinkedIn profile or a personal website are great places to expand on your work experience or house portfolio materials. A link to further reading is a great solution for maintaining brevity while also providing further reading for hiring managers who want to know more about you.
Can you impress a recruiter or hiring manager using only one page? If so, a one page resume is right for you. Check out our resume templates to get started.