Less is more is a good rule of thumb for many things, especially if you’re on a job hunt. For resumes, keeping things simple, relevant, and easily readable can mean the difference between getting your dream job and falling through the cracks among dozens of other vacancy hopefuls. Many a times the reason for this is simply the inability to make your resume fit on one page, making it confusing and redundant.
How to Make your Resume Fit on One Page?
Day after day, employers are inundated by resumes, and it’s their task to weed out the good and promising applicants from the bad. Often, they go through the first purge, where they skim through resumes to eliminate unqualified candidates. Your resume should not just pass this first skim test; it should impress and convince employers so you can eventually get that interview and even finally land the job.
This is especially important if you are applying for an entry level job or an internship, where a one-page resume is a matter not just of preference but of practicality and common sense. However, many will wonder, “How can I fit everything in one page and still convince the employer that I’m the best person for the job?”
The answer is simple. Follow these 11 tips to create a one-page resume that will not just easily convey your strengths but also make your resume concise and convincing.
1. Remove unnecessary sections
Today, the Objectives Section seems passé, not to mention it takes up a lot of lines and spaces. Allow your experience to display your objective. If you don’t have a lot of experience relevant to the title you’re applying for, then just list the skills you’ve acquired in various job positions to show how they can be pertinent to your aims.
The same goes with “References available upon request” which doesn’t really do much for your resume. This phrase takes up one full line and a few spaces. Besides, your recruiter will ask for references if they need them.
2. Trim down recurring points
If you’ve been around long enough, you may have performed the same roles in different companies. There’s no need to indicate these roles in your ‘Experience’ section to avoid redundancy, and to prevent wasting precious space. Mention the work experience once, and highlight those jobs where you achieved good results from the specified responsibility. This might include awards, acknowledgements, or years of experience tied to the mentioned skill or task.
3. Keep your information relevant
You may have loads of skills, awards, and experience, but not everything needs to be added to your resume. Make a list of your credentials and choose only those that are directly relevant to the position you’re applying for.
As for your ‘education’ section, chances are your high school education will have very little relevance for your application. There’s no reason to add it, as your college education and work experience will suffice to show your competence.
4. Mind your widows
Widows are words that consume a whole line. Try to avoid this if you want to keep your resume short, simple, and all in one page. Widows are often seen in the ‘Skills’ section. A great trick to keep this section economical is to put all your relevant skills in one line and divide them using slashes or dots.
5. Adjust your contact details
The traditional format for addresses and contact information isn’t applicable in today’s resume writing. Ditch those spaces which can easily increase the number of lines in your resume. Instead, type them up along one line and just break them up as you would your Skills section, with slashes or dots.
6. Work experience over awards and leadership roles
You don’t need to include all your summer jobs, trainings, extra-curricular activities, and awards, especially if they are irrelevant to the position you are applying for. If there are leadership roles outside your work experience that are relevant to your application, then put them discreetly under your work experiences. Otherwise, axe them.
7. Optimize line spaces
Go over your formatting options and take a look at your spacing. Manually change your line spacing to just get adequate space between your lines and paragraphs. This can easily save you a lot of precious space.
Remember to also keep your bullets at a distance of one space and your section to two spaces. Better yet, you can keep bullets together and use hanging indentation. You can also use lines to separate sections from each other without using a lot of spaces in between.
8. Adjust your margins
Microsoft Word has many margin options to suit your preferences. For your resume, the ‘Narrow Margin’ will do and will greatly help you have more room and keep your resume in one page. Keep your margins at 0.5”.
9. Take note of your fonts
For your name, you don’t have to use very large fonts, as it is understandable and expected that your name will appear at the top of your resume. You can make a distinction by using a bold font for your name and make it only one to two points larger than the rest of your resume. To optimize your space, you can even opt for a narrower font style, such as Arial Narrow, which can clean up the look of your resume. You can also use readymade resume templates to make use of professionally designed layouts. Here is a list of our recommended Professional Resume templates.
10. Keep a concise writing style
Use a telegraphic writing style, in which you omit articles such as a, an, and the as well as personal pronouns. Once you’re done writing your resume, go over it at least once more to clean up your writing. Get rid of unnecessary and redundant words and phrases. Also, make sure that the credentials you are including are germane to the job you are seeking.
11. Submit it as PDF
Save and submit your resume as PDF, unless the recruiter specified otherwise. This is because Word Documents tend to highlight typos which can ruin the look of your resume. Formatting can also change between computers, and this can easily add an extra page, which you don’t want to have. By submitting your resume as PDF, you are sending the employer exactly what you have created.
Keeping things short and sweet allows you to concisely include only the relevant details of your professional experience and credentials. If you make your resume fit on one page, you can not only make your resume look professional but also easy to comprehend at a glance. This is something recruiters will definitely appreciate, even so much so that you will land the interview for your dream job. Good luck!