The art of the resume is crucial. You want it to be just long enough to pique your potential employer's interest, but not so long that it is a total bore to read.
It's difficult to get a resume down to one page, but it's important.
It's hard to believe that all the random, crazy jobs we have held don't mean much in the grand scheme of things. You want to believe that all that time you spent working in restaurants or behind a desk in some low-skill job counts for something more than a minimum wage paycheck, after all.
The hard truth is that sometimes those jobs won't make much sense to put on your resume, and that's something that you will have to battle with. How can I make my resume pertinent to the types of jobs I want?
You create a resume with selected experience.
Creating this resume helps you focus more on the jobs that will impact your intended career path the most while avoiding adding the jobs that don't matter as much. Today I am going to show you how to get your resume down to one page by focusing on the most important aspects of your experience.
Create A Master Resume
This document should include a running tab of every job you have ever held, every volunteer position, all your education, your references, skills, everything!
I suggest creating a master resume so that way you remember everything you have done. After a while, things begin to be a bit fuzzy, and you don't want that to happen! You want to be able to remember every potentially relevant thing you have done so that you can create resumes that shine with your most relevant information.
Creating this master resume allows you to understand and pull from all your experience when you are creating your resume with selected experience. So, get to work, create a long master resume, and use just as much detail as you would use on your selected resume for each job you have held.
Analyze The Job Description
When you apply for any job, you should take a hard look at that job's description. What exactly are they looking for? What skills does the person who holds that job need most? Is it flexibility or promptness? Is it technical skill? Once you figure that out, you can pull your best work for your resume.
Read through the description carefully and be sure to underline any skills or job description qualities that you have a ton of experience with.
Let's take a look at this sample job description from Workable for an Office Manager:
We are looking for an Office Manager to organize and coordinate administrative duties and office procedures. Your role is to create and maintain a pleasant work environment, ensuring high levels of organizational effectiveness, communication, and safety.
Office manager responsibilities include scheduling meetings and appointments, making office supplies arrangements, greeting visitors and providing general administrative support to our employees. Previous experience as a Front office manager or Office administrator would be an advantage. A successful Office manager should also have experience with a variety of office software (email tools, spreadsheets, and databases) and be able to accurately handle administrative duties.
Ultimately, the Office manager should be able to ensure the smooth running of the office and help to improve company procedures and day-to-day operation.
So, I put a couple of things in bold throughout this job description. If I were crafting a resume for this job, I would take a look at all of these different words I just put in bold, and I would craft a resume with only relevant experience.
Create A Resume With Only Relevant Experience
Let's take this officer manager idea further. We know that this company is looking for someone with skills in:
- Organization (organize and coordinate, organizational effectiveness, scheduling, day-to-day operation, etc.)
- Communication (Communication, greeting, etc.)
- Office Know-how (Scheduling, administrative support, office software, operation, etc.)
We could say that most of the skills this job requires fall into those three categories (although you could probably find more.) Since we know that, we could find jobs where we had to organize a lot, communicate with our co-workers and the public, and utilize office equipment and software.
If you can create a resume that highlights those skills you will be taken more seriously as a job candidate. So, each description in your resume should include something related to these three categories.
Rearrange Your Resume's Layout & Take Out Unnecessary Things
Next thing you may want to do is rearrange your resume's layout.
Here are a few ideas:
- Make content smaller: It may not create a ton of space but making things a few sizes smaller may help. Some parts of your resume are probably bigger like your name, section headers, etc. Try decreasing the size of those first, then decrease the size of the rest of your resume by one or two sizes.
- Take Out Unnecessary Headers: Not all of your headers will be necessary. Do you need a separate skill or leadership section? Maybe, but maybe not. See if you can inject that information into other parts of your resume so you can use that space for something else.
- Consider Letting Go Of Certain Education: Depending on the job you are going for you may not need to showcase high school education on your resume. Obviously, if you don't have a college degree yet this is probably a no-go. Once you have a more advanced degree, you can let that part of your education go.
- Condense Information: So many parts of your resume may currently be living on a separate line by itself, but that takes up space. A company doesn't need the name of the company, it's location, and your tenure at the company on different lines. Condense as much as you can.
Make Sure Your Online Life Is Squeaky Clean
Last, but certainly not least, clean up your online presence. If you created a great resume, your potential employer is probably excited to learn more about who you are. You don't want the first thing they see to be a party picture of you from five years ago.
I am all about the Grandma rule, y'know the rule that says that you shouldn't post anything online you wouldn't want your Grandma to see.
We are ALL so connected nowadays, and there are tons of websites that crawl popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and store your content so that even when it's deleted, it's accessible by someone. So, if you can, keep it clean.
Above all else, Google yourself right now. See what comes up. I used to be in the clear because there was another Amanda Cross who was more popular and an author. Now, as I am blogging and tweeting under my name a lot, my name is moving further up the list. You never know what will pop up when you Google yourself, so you should do it if you haven't already.
For more information on making sure your online life is up to par, check out this great guide from UpToWork about checking your online presence (before recruiters do.)
Here are some other blogs that will help you create your amazing one-page resume:
17 Ways to Make Your Resume Fit on One Page by FindSpark
How to Write a One Page Resume by The Balance