How Long Should A College Resume Be
A resume for college should be one page. Do you have so many mind-altering achievements you cant fit them in a 1-page resume? Then write a two-page resume.
Expert Hint: If youre in a field where lots of experience makes you more attractive, write a 2 or 3-page resume. Just keep it relevant and focus on accomplishments.
What About The Extra Space
If the text on the second page is only one or two lines, you may want to consider reformatting and sticking to the one page rule. Otherwise, dont be overly concerned about the extra space on the second page. Recruiters have short attention spans and wont want to scan more information than they have to.
But if you feel compelled to fill that space, be strategic and make sure the information is relevant. If you havent already done so, add information on your leadership, organizations, volunteer work, hobbies, or sports activities. This will show employers you have a life outside of work and give some insight into your personality.
Also keep in mind that this information doesnt have to be in text format. Ive seen some great resumes recently that have outlined these items using pie charts, timelines, and graphs. Just remember these fancy formats dont always translate well when applying online and can wind up a jumbled mass of code.
So, whats the moral of the resume length debate? In the digital application world, size doesnt really matter. As long as you tell a compelling story about your employment history thats easy on the eyes, your page breaks will be forgiven.
Creating A Resume Skills Section
The skills section is an essential part of your resume. However, there are several different ways to approach creating yours.
Here are a few examples demonstrating the different ways you can format your resumes skills section:
If you have many relevant hard and soft skills, add them to your resume skills section using separate bullet points, like this:
If youre a student or recent graduate and have no significant job skills yet, there are still plenty of things you can list in your resume skills section. Heres an example of a skills section written by a candidate with no work experience:
Another way to organize your skills section is by using bars to provide employers a rough estimate of your proficiency.
This type of skills section is particularly popular with more creative professions, like graphic design or social media management:
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You Are Easily Able To Drag Recruiters Attention Towards Important Information About Yourself:
If there is too much information written down in a resume, then the recruiter will try to have a glance at all of them and may end up reading nothing.
But if there are limited highlighted words to read, then surely the recruiter will not only read them but will also remember them.
So, for this reason, writing a one page resume is an easy way to drag your recruiters attention towards important aspects of your career and professional self.
Why Your Resume Should Be Three Pages
You could have more than two pages if youâre a high-level or senior-level executive or in a very complex, technical field. For example, a scientist may need more than two pages to showcase background, education, published work, and studies. An executive resume usually shows a clear progression of responsibility and job titles with many related experiences.
Your professional document can be three pages if you are actually writing a Curriculum Vitae . This is more common if youâre applying for jobs outside of the USAâread more about the difference between a resume and a CV here. In the US and Canada, there are some other industries that use CVs such as academia and medical.
Federal resumes also follow a different format and can easily be three pages or more.
Read our article on for more information.
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Write A Winning Resume Introduction
Placed at the top of your resume, a well-written resume introduction briefly introduces your key qualifications and skills, and convinces employers to continue reading your application.
There are many different types of resume introductions used by job seekers today, including the:
However, the two most commonly used introduction styles are the resume objective and the resume summary.
What Is The Best Resume Layout
The first thing a job recruiter notices about any resume is the layout.
Does it look organized or cluttered? Is it too short or too long? Is it boring and easy to ignore, or does it scream out Read me!?
Here are some of the best practices when it comes to your resume layout:
Resume Layout Must-Haves
1. One page in length. You should only go for 2 pages if you really, really believe that itll add significant value. HR managers in big firms get around 1,000+ resumes per month. Theyre not going to spend their valuable time reading your life story!
2. Clear section headings. Pick a heading and use it for all the section headers.
3. Ample white-space, especially around the margins.
4. Easy-to-read font. Wed recommend sticking to what stands out, but not too much. Do: Ubuntu, Roboto, Overpass, etc. Dont : Comic Sans
5. Pick the right font size. As a rule of thumb, go for 11 – 12 pt for normal text, and 14 – 16 pt for section titles.
6. As a rule of thumb, save your resume as PDF. Word is a popular alternative, but it has a good chance of messing up your resume formatting.
One more thing you need to consider in terms of resume layout is whether youre going for a traditional-looking free resume template or something a bit more modern:
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Make Your Ideas More Concise
The first step you should take when editing your resume is to make your ideas brief. You can do this by focusing on the key idea of each sentence to shorten sentences in your summary or objective, professional experience or other sections. For example, on a data entry clerk resume, instead of saying:
Demonstrated proficiency reviewing and entering test requisition form data , identifying inadvertently omitted test codes and notifying appropriate department for resolution
you could simply say:
Accurately reviewed and entered data daily from 400+ test requisition forms while identifying and reporting inaccuracies.
The Final Word On Resume Length
In the end, the length doesnt matter quite as much as the content filling the pages. If you can capture your qualifications on one page, great. But if it takes two pages or more, thats OK, too.
Ive had new grads do well with two-page resumes and top executives do well with only one page, Isaacs says.
Just remember: Your resume should be a high-level look at your accomplishments that entices the hiring manager to want to learn more. A resume is like the copy on the back cover of a book, designed to make you want to read the book, Isaacs says. Its not the whole book.
Once youve nailed down the right length for your resume, it’s ready to go to work. Just like you.
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When Should Your Resume Be Two Pages
Most resumes should be two pages long. Two pages are the standard length in 2021 to fit all your keywords, work history, experience, and skills on your resume.
Here are some situations that indicate you should use a two-page resume:
You are not an entry-level candidate.
You have enough relevant skills, experience, and keywords to fill at least a page and a half.
Youâre submitting a resume online.
Youâre handing a resume to a hiring manager.
If youâre concerned a two-page resume will slow down a hiring manager during their six-second resume test, remember that this âsix-secondâ figure comes from a review after an ATS scan has determined your fit for the position. If youâre able to bypass an ATS, one study suggests that when time constraints are not an issue, recruiters are 2.3 times more likely to prefer a two-page resume.
Other Important Resume Sections
The sections weve covered so far are must-haves for any resume. Theyre the bread-and-butter for any job application, and if you get them right, youll land any job you apply to.
The following sections, though, can really give you a boost here and there.
Are you bi-lingual? Or better, multi-lingual? You should ALWAYS mention that on your resume!
Even if the position doesnt require you to know the specific language, it can still come in handy at some point. At the end of the day, its always better to know more languages than less.
To list languages in your resume, simply write them down and assign them the appropriate level:
As a given, you should never lie about your language skills. You never know, your interviewer might turn out to be fluent in the language, or even be a native speaker!
Hobbies & Interests
Want to add some spice to your resume? The hobbies and interests section, while not a game-changer, can help show who YOU are as an individual. Who knows, maybe you and your interviewee have some hobbies in common?
If you end up with some extra space in your resume, dont hesitate to show off your personality with a hobbies/interests section.
If youre the type of person to use your free time helping others, while expecting nothing in return, chances are that youre the type of employee whos in it for more than just the money. It leaves the impression that youre a devoted, loyal employee.
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Senior Level And Science Candidates
Executives or senior-level managers often have a long list of accomplishments and experiences that they have to include. The same is true for people in the sciences or academia who want to include their licenses, patents, or publications. These job seekers can write a resume that is three pages long or even longer.
The Resume Is Your First Impression Over The Recruiter:
First impression is the last impression, and before going to an interview, it is your resume that speaks about yourself.
So, if it is going to be filled with good things, only then it will help in generating your positive image in front of recruiters. If your resume is itself not unique then it will not be able to bring positive gains to you both during and after the interview.
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Spare One Page Resume Template
Just want a bare-bones one page resume template that feels like a breath of fresh air? The Emma single-page resume template on Etsy conveys professionalism and efficiency. Its eye-friendly, but dodges flashy extras to get the job done.
Expert Hint: If you build your 1-page resume in Word, save it as a PDF. Theyre machine readable in 2019 and dont lose their formatting once you send them.
Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.
Want to try a different look? Theres 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.
Expert Hint: When should you use a resume, and when is it better to use a curriculum vitae? It depends. CV and resume actually have a different meaning across languages. Read about the difference between a resume and a CV.
You Need To Write Only Those Skills That Match With Your Job:
There is a possibility that you are multi-skilled person that possess numerous qualities. But there is no need to jot down about each and every quality of yours.
You have to write only about those skill set that matches perfectly with the job vacancy you are targeting.
This much information can be nicely presented in one page and so there is no need to extend your resume to two or more number of pages.
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Highlight Your Relevant Job Skills
Hiring managers are on the lookout for candidates who have relevant, job-specific skills. While listing a heap of skills on your resume doesnt actually prove youre skilled, incorporating your various skills into different sections will catch the eye of whoever is vetting your application.
For instance, you can showcase your hard and soft skills in your introduction and work experience section. And of course, you should also list your most valuable abilities in your resumes skills section.
Benefits Of A One Page Resume
Especially if you’re applying to a large company, there’s a high likelihood that your resume will be printed out to be reviewed by multiple people, or at least shared electronically. Having a short and concise resume makes it easier on the hiring manager and also increases your own chances of standing out.
Unless you are explicitly asked to submit a specific type of resume, sticking to a simple, single page is a surefire way to make sure that it will be able to be downloaded – or printed out – and reviewed by anyone who needs to look at it. It’s much easier to read a single page resume than it is to review a multi-page document.
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How Far Back Should A Resume Go
Generally, you should not go back further than 20 years on your resume. Sometimes, even 15 years.
Imagine that you are applying to a job as a VP of Finance. Your time working at McDonalds 25 years ago will not help your resume at all.
It is great that you did it, but it wont be relevant.
Consider also the existence of recency bias.
A hiring manager will favor your rival if you present virtually identical resumes if they list their achievements more recently.
If you list your big wins as 20 years ago, whereas they list the same in the last 2 years, the latter will be preferred.
Also, if you go back over 20 years, you are talking about your past self. Experience from further back than this will not be considered relevant.
It says little of you today.
So how far should a resume go back?
It often depends on your resume length. Need to cut back on space? Go with 15 years. Need to add space? Go with 20 years.
Your main concern here is making it appear that you are not leaning on your past selfs accolades, but just showing your track record as you continue to achieve great things.
Top Tip: For any additional relevant experience that is older than 15-20 yeas, you can add them in a section called Additional Experience. Include only one line per experience.
Some Recruiters Consider One Page Resume A Save Of Time:
A one page resume is more interesting to read and even saves lots of time to recruiters. As compared to this, a two or more page resume seems not only hectic to read, but may also highlight some negative aspects of yours.
It is therefore always better to create a single page resume so that recruiters remain interesting in knowing about your skills and qualities, and so none of your points are left unread.
How Many Pages Should My Resume Be
President Insider Career Strategies Certified Resume Writer & Career Coach LinkedIn Profile Developer Outplacement Services Forbes Coaches
Many common questions about resumes revolve around the rules. Specifically, job seekers asking what the rule is for this or that, when the truth of the matter is that when you receive judgement, feedback, or criticism about your resume its more opinion than fact. Youre dealing with guidelines not rules. One point of contention that always ignites a fierce debate is how many pages a resume should be.
Instead of focusing on any such hard rules about resume length, instead think through a series of questions that will allow you to make an informed decision based on what norms are most likely to advance your resume in the application process, if followed.
Question #1 How much experience do you have?
If you are a recent graduate, you should stick to one page. Your professional story should be easy to tell. After two or more years of professional experience, its probably appropriate to have a multi-page resume. With notable exceptions , multi-page means two pages.
Question #2 Are you a college student or MBA student?
Question #3 Are you a techie?
Are you in IT? Engineering? A technology-related field?
Question #4 Are you a C Level Executive?
Question #5 Does the potential employer/partner/investor request a certain length?
Question #6 – Are you an academic?
Sample One Page Resume
This is an example of a one page resume. or see below for more examples.
Seasoned and meticulous Financial Analyst offering 10 years expertise providing decision support to executives of global manufacturing companies. Highly skilled in clear-cut and concise storytelling through financials. Core Competencies:
- Financial Analysis and Reporting
- Quantitative Methods and Forecast Modeling
- Revenue and Expense Variance Analysis
- Data Mining and Visualization
ABC MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, Oklahoma City, OKFinancial Analyst, 02/2013-PresentPartner across all functional business units to deliver quantitative analyses and forecasts of expenditures, sales revenues, and capital improvements.
- Implemented and trained executives in use of new management reporting system that increased timeliness and accuracy of financial reporting
- Pinpointed and reconciled discrepancies in business unit financial reports, averting risk exposure by creating stringent new due diligence processes.
XYZ GROUP, Norman, OK, 06/2008-02/2013
Skillfully researched and prepared business cases, performed cost benefit analyses, and structured quarterly forecasts to optimize business planning processes.
- Played instrumental role in creating a business case and performing due diligence key to a $4.5M merger and acquisition.
- Formulated recommendations for long-term planning that ultimately produced a 17% increase in business growth.
Education and Credentials
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