27 Aug 2014

Why you should have a one page resume

27 Aug 2014

There are many reasons why you should have a one page resume. If Barack Obama or the CEO of Coca Cola can outline his or her experience in a one page resume, so can you.

The key to resume writing is relevance. The person reading your resume wants to be able to see quickly, and clearly, what your experience has been, and if this experience is relevant to the position that they are hiring for. People have short attention spans and often than not, not a lot of time. If a person is reading hundreds of resume at one time, you need to grab and keep their attention, and the easiest way to do this is by having a concise one page resume. Keep in mind that most people view a resume for the first time on a computer, and they therefore don’t want to be scrolling up and down various pages to see your education and experience, and a one page resume eliminates these distractions.

With a one page resume, it is important to be concise. You don’t need to include all of the work experience you have ever had. Definitely don’t miss out jobs that you have held, however if you feel the need to write down everything you’ve done in your entire career, you are not thinking about the reader and your potential employer. They are only interested in the experience that you have had that is relevant for the role they are hiring for. Remember that your resume is a sales document, and you should therefore expand upon the experience that is relevant for the type of role that you are looking for. Your one page resume doesn’t need to include all of the internships that you had back in the day, or that first job that has no relevance to what you are doing now.

Focus on your unique achievements and leave out the menial tasks that have no relevance. Eliminate soft skills such as “good attention to detail”, “good at multi tasking”, “organized” etc for two reasons. These are skills that every potential employee should have, and it is not a good use of space to include this. If a candidate includes a career objective on a resume, I generally don’t read this, as I am only interested in what a candidate has been responsible for and achieved. If you are including a career objective, do make sure that it’s in line with the role that you are applying for. I see a lot of resumes with career objectives that are totally out of line with a job description or company, i.e. don’t write that you are looking to join a large international company if you are applying for a role in a small start up.

In summary, when I see a clear, concise one page resume, my first impression is that this is a candidate who knows how to market themselves and their experience. They are likely to be good at their job and be a clear and succinct communicator.

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