You’re not alone in thinking that résumés are hard to construct: how could you appropriately market yourself and all of your experiences in only one page? Take a look at your résumé and consider a few things: Does it look good? Does it make sense? Is it relevant? Here a five tips to trimming your résumé:
Margin sizes are one of the easiest fixes to making that two-page résumé one page. Take a look at your résumé: are the margins even on all sides? Make sure that the margins are the same all the way around but, more importantly, make sure they aren’t too big. If you’re using a Word document, setting the margins to ‘narrow’, or setting the margins to half an inch on every side, will give you the space you need.
In addition to narrowing those margins, make sure your font isn’t too large. Adjusting your font can not only give you some more space but it can clarify your résumé and make it easier to read. Be careful, adjusting your font size lower than 10.5 will be hard to see for some readers. Depending on your need for space, choosing a font size between 10.5 and 12 will help you out. Furthermore, some font styles are larger than others: Choose a professional font such as, Times New Roman or Calibri. This change might give you some more room to work with!
High School Experience
There is no doubt that the experiences you had in high school are valuable however, one day they will be too dated. At the Center of Career Development we recommend that at the end of your sophomore year, all high school information is removed from your résumé. This includes education, clubs and activities. By all means, if you are ready to remove those high school experiences at the end of freshman year, do so! Highlighting your most recent experiences shows you are involved outside of classes and will demonstrate initiative on and off campus.
Bullet statements are by far the hardest part of a résumé. How can one adequately convey what they did in this position in only a couple sentences? If you’re like me, you could probably write a book about everything you’ve done; but that’s not how résumés work. When employers look at a résumé they may only spend ten seconds looking at it: You want to make sure your résumé stands out. Using strong action verbs and descriptive language help make a concise but detailed statement. Try keeping your bullet statements to a minimum by highlighting your strengths as they relate to your objective. Think of your objective as the thesis of you résumé and your bullet statements as those body paragraphs. You want to focus on every transferable skill you mention in that objective. Although you may have gained a useful skill in more than one experience, you only need to mention it once. Repeating skills can be redundant and take up valuable space.
If you’ve adjusted your font and your bullet points and your résumé is still too long, you may have to take some things out completely. Take a look at all of your experiences: what experiences are relevant to your objective? If you find a few experiences that are generally unrelated to your objective and not as important as your related experiences, consider taking a few off to get you down to one page.
Résumés are difficult to prepare, we can all agree. But, by applying these tips, you might find it easier to get your résumé to the perfect length. Remember: you want the reader to think that you made that résumé just for them; tailor your résumé sections and experiences to your objective and get your résumé looking professional and organized. Don’t forget to come into the Center for Career Development to get your résumé looked at by one of our career interns and to take advantage of all of our career preparation opportunities!
By: Hannah Halloran