One of the most frequent questions I am asked is should my resume be one page or two?
It is no wonder people are confused. If someone were to try to find an answer online it would take all of .81 seconds to get about 15,800,000 results of articles that do not all agree on the subject.
– Shorter is better.
– You cannot encapsulate your experience in one page.
– No one likes a two-page resume.
– A one-page resume does not have enough information.
And so on and so on.
Here is the bottom line.: The only person it matters to is the person reading your resume. Since you cannot exactly call up this person and ask what they prefer, you just do not know. It is a 50/50 shot in the dark.
That does not seem quite helpful. But here is the good news, the answer to three questions more important to the reader than page length:
1. What are you applying for?
2. How do you qualify?
3. Can I find it easily on your resume?
These are the items you should focus on with your resume rather than making page length a priority. Write your resume for context, value and readability and then you can play with it to see if it works better on one page or two.
What Are You Applying For?
If there is a direct correlation between the job you are applying for and your current position use the job title as a title on your resume. If there is not a direct correlation (moving up in your career) incorporate the job title into your opening.
How Do You Qualify?
What strengths, skills, experience and value to you bring to the position that are in direct alignment with that they want adding value to the position, teams, clients and organization? Use key words and demonstrate your expertise using four questions as a starting point for your bullet points:
– Who do/did you work with?
– How do/did you work with them?
– What do/did you do?
– How do/did they benefit?
These questions help transform job duties to demonstrated value-add and expertise.
Can I Find It Easily On Your Resume?
This is not only a visual element but a structural one. For human nature, if something looks hard to read (too small of text, everything condensed, no white space) people are not inclined to read it or give it a good read.
Use white space to make it easier on those human eyes. Structure your resume so it makes sense, flows and easy for someone to find exactly what they are looking for. If you have been at an organization for quite some time, instead of having a large portion of your resume look like death by bullet point, use subheadings.
Break down those 20 bullet points into 4 or 5 categories and use those as your subheadings. For example, these can include things like, “Project Management, Risk Management, Cost Controls, Training & Development, etc.
Focus on your value, writing for the reader to answer their most important question: what can you do for me? If you have a value-driven, easy to read resume, the reader will be more interested in the content and you, rather than if your resume is one page or two.
As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career personal branding coaching and practice firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.
I help people get from where they are in their jobs to where they want to be in their careers.
Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about how we can help you.
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