Just one page? Most likely, yes!

Odds are, no matter where you see yourself this summer or post-graduation, you are going to need a résumé. Simply put, a résumé is the best tool employers, mentors, and hiring managers have to gain more knowledge of your experience and future goals.

At the same time, just one job application may bring in hundreds of qualified applicants – given the restraints on their time; research tells us recruiters may only spend, on average, about 6 seconds reviewing your document. If your résumé is six pages long, odds are, the individuals deciding whether to hire you, interview you, or offer you that fellowship, are not going to review the entire thing.

To make the most of the time you have, it is recommended that the average undergraduate student have a one page resume. Here are some strategies to utilize when looking to cut your resume down to one page:

  • Formatting is your friend! Adjust your margins (.5 inch works beautifully), font style and size, and even how large the spaces between sections are. Be strategic and mindful with the format of your document to utilize the space in the most efficient way.
  • Tailor your resume to include the most recent, meaningful, or related experiences. If you are a second-semester sophomore, consider removing high school-based experiences, for example. Be mindful of your audience; a summer internship might not need to know about all your publications and academic projects, while a research fellowship will definitely need that information. You are free to have multiple versions of your résumé that are tailored to each industry, experience, and employer.
  • Not every experience needs bullet point statements. Employers love to see that you have work experience – it shows off your work ethic and development of transferable skills. At the same time, keep in mind that not all experiences need multiple bullet point statements – if any! If an experience is self-explanatory (think: waitressing or retail), and you have many other experiences you would prefer elaborating on, perhaps those do not need quite as much information or detail.

Concerned about your résumé formatting? We can help! Read the Center for Career Development’s Résumé, CV and Written Communication Guide and learn more about scheduling a résumé critique with a member of our team.

By Ana Clara Blesso
Ana Clara Blesso Associate Director, Career Coaching & Experiential Learning