3 steps for paring your brimming résumé to a single page

Most hiring managers skim your CV for highlights—where you worked, when you worked there and what you did and achieved. Here are tips for making yours lean and powerful.

Resume writing tips

Job seekers who’ve had long, robust careers might need résumés that cover two or even three full pages.

That’s perfectly fine. Other job seekers—the younger, the less experienced—can make do with just one. That’s fine, too.

The trouble comes when you find yourself in the middle ground—with a résumé that doesn’t fill two pages, but doesn’t quite fit on one.

The last thing you want is a résumé with a lot of empty space on it. So that one-and-a-half-pager? It’s gotta be trimmed.

The question is how. Making razor-thin margins or opting for a microscopic font aren’t good options, because then your résumé isn’t readable.

Fortunately, there are simple ways to tighten your résumé to one action-packed page—helping you portray maximum value quickly and cleanly.

Take these steps:

Get rid of old jobs.

How far back are you going in your career history? Employers are most interested in what you’ve done recently, so jobs more than 15 years in the past usually can be omitted.

If you’re a more experienced worker, and if you have seven or eight listings in your career history, there’s a good chance you can cut one or two of them to save space.

Eliminate unnecessary stuff.

Are you including any of the following items on your résumé?

  • Hobbies
  • Volunteer positions
  • References
  • “References available upon request”
  • Your high school or college GPA

If so, then just getting rid of these items may be the best approach.

We’re not saying these items never have a place on your résumé—but if you’re looking to save space, they can be axed without any great loss.

Keep your bullet points short.

The best résumés list job accomplishments and responsibilities in bullet points—and you should keep each to a single line. If yours are longer, trim them, focusing on strong action words, numbers and statistics, while removing filler.

Also remember to remove redundancies. If you “provided exemplary customer service” in your last four jobs, you needn’t list it under each one. Say it once.

A version of this post first appeared on the Grammar Chic blog.

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