Shrinking Your Resume Down to One Page? Here’s What You Can Remove

Writing your resume can be a challenge for a range of reasons – one involves length. If you’ve only been on the job for a short period, this might not be a big deal.

However, if you have years of experience, how are you supposed to boil all that down to a one-page resume? You can’t use a seven point font, unless you want your resume to land in the trash. Instead, follow these tips to trim your resume and still make a positive impact:

Shorten the Text Wherever You Can

Now’s the time to go through your resume with a fine-tooth comb and remove any extra words, phrases, or sentences. Read through every bullet under your “Work History” section and all the other sections to ensure there isn’t any extraneous text.

If you have any bullet points that are three lines, aim to cut them down to two. If you have one word alone on a line, then do whatever you can to cut or edit the sentence and get rid of the dangling word.

Combine Bullets & Sections

If you’ve removed every word possible and still have a resume that’s too long, your next step should be to combine content. For instance, if you have two bullet points under one of your job titles that are similar, look for a way to combine them.

If you have multiple sections for miscellaneous information, like “Industry Credentials” and “Honors and Awards,” combine them into one section, such as “Additional Information.” This will remove one large subhead, freeing up more space on your resume.

Combine Lines

If you’re stacking all the information on your resume, like job title, employer name, location, and dates of employment, this takes up four lines. Instead, combine them to one or two lines, depending on the length. For instance:

Marketing Manager, ABC Communications, Houston, TX – July 2018- Present

Other areas where you can get rid of stacked text include under your “Education” section. See if there’s a way to get your college name, degree and dates earned onto one line, such as:

Augusta University, Bachelor of Science in Business, Graduated: May 2015

This way, you’re not using up multiple lines. Another area to check is your contact information at the top of your resume, like phone, email, and any other details you list. Make sure they’re not all on separate lines and instead combine them into one line that is below and across your name.

Narrow the Margins

When you’re trying to get your resume down to one page and you’re almost there, the next place to look is at your margins. Keep in mind, white space is key and important to the look and feel of your resume. You don’t want to send in a resume with a tiny font point size and even tinier margins.

However, you can play with your margins a little and narrow them down to see if this helps you remove the final few lines that are running to the next page. If, for instance, you have one-inch margins all the way around your resume, see what happens when you trim them down to .75 or even .5 inch margins. Whatever you do, make sure it still looks reader-friendly.

Adjust the Line Spacing & Font Size

If you’re still in need of a little bit of space, this should be your final step. If you have your line spacing set to the default, then it might be too much. You can adjust it so it’s a little tighter. That said, don’t make the line spacing so tight that it becomes hard to read your resume.

Also, if your font size is set at 12 for all the text, adjust it to 11 to see if it works to shrink your resume. Just make sure you don’t go any smaller than 10 and keep your section headers and your name larger, such as 14.

If you’ve done all of the above and your resume now fits, congratulations! Make sure you proofread it and also ask a trusted friend or family member to proofread it as well. The last thing you want is a typo to sabotage all your hard work.

If, however, it’s still not fitting – and not even close – then it might be time for a re-write. Take a look at the job listing and read through your resume. Is everything there truly relevant to the role? If not, remove it. Also, keep in mind, you can discuss certain skills or accomplishments in your cover letter in greater detail and then just list a short bullet point on your resume.

Need More Help Writing the Right-Length Resume?

Turn to the pros at ResumeSpice. We’re experts when it comes to writing resumes and knowing what hiring managers want to see. We can help you trim yours down or start from scratch, so you put your best foot forward. Ready for help? Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.

Perfect Thank You Letter Following An Interview (Template and Samples)

After an interview, you can’t sit back and breathe easy. There’s still more work to do. Once the interview is over, it’s time to write a post-interview thank you note – and increase your odds of getting the job or at least another interview.

In fact, consider these statistics from a recent CareerBuilder study:

  • 22% of employers say they’re less likely to hire a candidate who doesn’t send a thank you note
  • 56% said not sending a thank you note showed the candidate was not serious about the position
  • And 86% of hiring managers said not sending a thank you note demonstrated a lack of follow-through

If that’s not enough, there’s yet another reason to write a note. It can be a deciding factor for the hiring manager. If you’re neck-in-neck with another candidate and they write a great thank you letter, guess who will likely get the offer? It’s not worth risking job offer rejection.

Not sure where to begin? Here’s a template to follow and examples to inspire you.

 

Thank you letter email template:

 Dear [Name of Hiring Manager],

 Thank you so much for meeting with me today. It was a pleasure speaking with you and I am truly excited about the possibility of working for [Company Name].

 I’d love to be a part of your team and help you to [increase sales, retain more customers, create new products, or expand service offerings]. My [skill, such as customer service, graphic design, leadership, etc.] experience and [another skill] expertise would help me to thrive in this position while making valuable contributions.

 I look forward to hearing about next steps from you. If you need additional information, please reach out.

 Best regards,
[Your Name]

Sample thank you email letter #1:

Dear Jennifer,

 I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for meeting with me today. After discussing the accounting manager position, I’m excited about the chance to work for such a dynamic company. My experience as a CPA and specifically in business tax planning will help to ensure ABC Company can reduce exposure and minimize liabilities, as I’ve done with my current employer.

I look forward to hearing from you about the next steps. If, in the meantime, you have any further questions, please let me know.

Sincerely,
Mike Smith

Sample thank you email letter #2:

Dear Mr. Frey,

 Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the administrative assistant position. Our conversation gave me more insight into the job and I believe I’m an excellent fit for it, as a result, especially with 10 years of experience and strong interpersonal skills. I’m also already proficient in the software you use, as we discussed, and can hit the ground running with your team faster.

Please let me know about next steps when you get the chance. If you have additional questions in the meantime, call or email me. Again, thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,

Lisa Morgan

Sample thank you email letter #3:

 Hello Ms. Michaels,

 I wanted to thank you for inviting me in today. It was great to hear more about the position and your company. It seems like an amazing place to work, one I’d feel lucky to be a part of. You mentioned so many unique aspects to your business – it’s all so impressive!

 Anyway, please let me know if any other questions came up or if you need additional information. In the meantime, I look forward to hearing from you.

 Have a great day,
Carrie Ross

Sample thank you email letter #4:

Dear Ben, 

It was great meeting with today. Thank you for explaining more about the company and role. It’s such an incredible opportunity.

I’m very interested in the job and believe my experience as a project manager will be valuable to your company. You mentioned that you’re in the process of building a new product to increase customer retention. I already have a few ideas I’d love to discuss. For instance, [include idea here].

Please contact me if you have any additional questions. I’m also including a link to my LinkedIn profile, where you can view additional information about my background. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Sam Smith

Need more help writing your thank you note?

 At ResumeSpice, we can help you craft a well-written thank you letter that will give you a leg up over other candidates, so you get the job you want. Our service includes a phone consultation, a personalized draft within two business days, and one round of revisions, followed by your final letter.

Ready to get started? Simply reach out at 832.930.7378 or contact us online.

Recruiters Tell All: What Skills Should Job Seekers Put on Their Resume?

Whether you’re just entering the workforce or are a seasoned professional, writing a resume can be a challenge. It’s difficult to know what’s important to hiring managers and which areas in your background to focus on and promote.

However, since hiring managers only spend a few seconds screening each resume, yours needs to stand out – quickly. One way to do that is with the skills you include. These can differentiate you from other candidates, so you get a call for an interview. It can also impact the offer you get, including salary and benefits. With so much on the line, where do you even begin, though?

Here’s a look at what to include on your resume, so you get the results you want.

 

Hard Skills

Hiring managers will be scanning your resume for the right technical abilities. This means if you work in accounting, experience such as with accounting principles and knowledge of software like MS Excel are important. For working in marketing, experience with content management systems and data analytics are key. For graphic design, listing your Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) certification is important.

If you’re struggling with which hard skills to include on your resume, look back to the job listing. What are the qualifications and requirements included there? These are the areas you should be focusing on when showcasing your skill set. Make sure you also list any degrees or credentials that are relevant to the job.

When you’re looking at the job listing, another important step is to identify pertinent keywords. Since most companies use Applicant Tracking Systems to sort and screen resumes first, a resume optimized with keywords is more likely to get into the hands of a hiring manager.

Soft Skills

Besides hard skills, hiring managers want to know about your soft skills and if you’ll be a fit for the role and the company culture. These reflect your personality and other personal attributes, like your ability to collaborate, cope with stress, and communicate clearly.

These can be harder to promote since they’re not easy to measure. However, look once again to the job listing for an idea of what soft skills are most important to the employer.

When you’re writing your resume, don’t just say you’re a “team player,” which is vague and generic. Instead, give specific examples of accomplishments or results you achieved through collaborating with others.

Keep in mind, soft skills can often be a deciding factor for a position. In many cases, two candidates have equally strong backgrounds when it comes to technical abilities, so an employer will use the soft skills to tip the scales one way or the other.

Examples

Whether you’re writing about soft skills or hard skills, don’t simply state the ones you have. Offer an example of what you achieved. This is the best way for you to stand out with your resume.

For instance, rather than saying you have experience in “project management,” say you “led a team of 10 to successfully complete multiple mission-critical projects, on time and on budget.”

If you want to promote your communication skills, don’t simply state that you have “strong written and verbal communication skills.” Instead, discuss how you “wrote and published weekly company emails, reaching an audience of 2,500 clients and increasing traffic to the corporate website by 18%.”

If leadership skills are important to the job, don’t just say you were on a company board. Instead, state that you: “Chaired a company volunteer board that organized the annual corporate fundraising event, raising 12% more than the previous year.”

What Not To Include:

Now that you know what to include on your resume in terms of skills, what should you avoid? Here’s a look.

  • Don’t ever lie or exaggerate your skills. During the reference checking process, the hiring manager might discover the truth. Even if you do get the job and can’t perform, you’ll be miserable and your boss will be unimpressed. It’s best to be honest about your skills and abilities, even if it means you don’t get the job. False claims aren’t worth it.
  • Too much information. Since hiring managers only scan resumes for a few seconds each, it’s important to avoid dense paragraphs and lengthy text. Instead, make sure your resume is written in a clear and concise way without flowery language, like “outside the box” or “taking a deeper dive.”
  • Mistakes and typos. When you’re done writing your resume, give it to someone you trust to proofread it. You might be missing a glaring error, simply because you’ve been looking at it for too long. A fresh eye can quickly spot with formatting, grammar, typos and inconsistencies.

Need help writing your resume?

It’s easy with the professional resume writers at ResumeSpice. We can craft an honest, authentic and impactful resume that helps you stand apart from other candidates. You’ll get more calls for interviews and find the job you want sooner. Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.

How Many Resume Versions Should I Have?

A resume is a resume is a resume, right? Not so fast! You can’t simply send out the same resume, time and again, for every job opening and expect the best results – namely, a call for an interview.

These days, you need to have one resume that you tailor for different audiences; or possibly even two or more, depending on your situation. While most of the information will remain the same, some small tweaks can be the difference between getting the interview and being rejected.

So just how many resumes will you need? Here’s a look at the different versions and why each one is important.

Your Main Resume

The goal of your primary resume is to create a clear, compelling case as to why you’re a strong candidate and a good contender for the jobs you’re applying to. It should cover your work history and experience, education, specialized skills, and any other important details to highlight, such as volunteer work.

Keep in mind too you’ll want to include a mix of hard and soft skills on your resume, as well as quantify accomplishments. This resume is the template you will use to create different versions from.

Your ATS Resume

In today’s world, many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen resumes. This makes it easier for them to review the hundreds of resumes they receive and focus on the handful of candidates they want to call for an interview.

When you’re optimizing your resume for an ATS, there are some important tips to keep in mind. If you don’t follow them, you might be out of the running even if you’re an ideal fit. These include:

  • Finding keywords in the job description and using them, as well as variations, throughout your resume.
  • Using a simple layout without any graphics or visuals that is easy for the ATS to scan.
  • Avoiding script or retro-looking fonts and instead using fonts, like Times New Roman, Arial, Cambria, Georgia, Calibri or Verdana.

Keep in mind, though, your resume still needs to be reader-friendly for a human. So, make sure you use one-inch margins, send in a two-page resume, rather than cramming text onto one page, and use a point size of at least 11 for the font.

Your Employer-Specific Resume

You might wind up using the same or similar resumes for many of the positions you apply to. However, it’s best to review the job description first and edit your resume in a way that will make it as relevant as possible for each job and employer.

 Some areas to focus on when you’re doing this include:

  • Summary of Qualifications. You can add new details or re-order the bullet points so the most important ones are first.
  • Job History. Include the experience, skills and accomplishments that are most pertinent to each position and employer.
  • Miscellaneous Information. For instance, in some cases, adding hobbies can actually improve your chance of getting an interview, if it’s related somehow to the company.
  • Keywords. These will be different depending on the job listing and the description.

When You Need Another Resume

That said, if you’re interested in two different kinds of jobs, then you’ll need two separate resumes. For instance, if you’ve held management roles, as well as task-specific ones, and are open to both, then you’ll have to create a resume for each of these unique opportunities. There might be some overlap. However, for the most part, they will be different.

Another instance when you’ll need multiple resumes? When you’re changing careers. If you’re making a move to a different industry or a new field, then you will need to have resumes for each type of position you are applying to. When this is the case for you, make sure you are highlighting those transferable skills that can be valuable across industries.

Finally, if you’re applying for your first job and are interested in multiple areas, then you might need to create individual resumes for each position. Again, you can use some of the same information. However, when you’re writing each resume, focus on your abilities and course work that are most relevant to the position or industry you are applying to.

Whatever You Do, Stay Organized

No matter the number of resumes you have, it’s important to stay organized with each one you send out. Create a spreadsheet, for instance, that lists the company and position you applied to, which resume version you sent, and the date you sent it.

Not only will this give you a visual to work with, so you can stay on top of your job search, but it will provide a timeline for following up. Likewise, if a hiring manager reaches out for an interview, you’ll know exactly what resume you sent them and when.

Need More Help with Your Resume Writing?

At ResumeSpice, we can help you create a compelling resume, as well as optimize it for ATS software and employers. You’ll get more calls for interviews and land a new job faster with our expert team. Simply reach out at 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.

They Can’t Ask Me That, Can They? A Guide to Illegal Job Interview Questions

When it comes to job interviews, there are lots of questions that might make you squirm. However, they are perfectly acceptable for a hiring manager to ask. That said, there are actually questions that are asked often – yet are out of bounds and even illegal.

For instance, an employer can ask questions related to your work history, skills, career experience, and why they should hire you. What they cannot ask about are questions pertaining to your personal life, like whether you’re married, have or want kids, or what religion you practice.

To help ensure everything you’re asked is above board – so you know what to answer and what you can politely decline – here are some illegal job interview questions to be aware of.

Questions Related to Family or Home Life

These include questions such as:

  • How old are your kids?
  • Do you have child care arrangements made?
  • What does your spouse do for a living?
  • Do you have any relatives that work for our competition?

Asking anything related to your family, your spouse or partner, or your children is off the table. This is simply because your answer can bias the hiring manager, whether in a negative or positive way.

For instance, they might be concerned about hiring a candidate with three small children at home if they know that’s your situation. On the other hand, if you’re married with kids and so is the hiring manager, they might feel like they have more in common with you and could be more likely to offer you the job, as a result. Legally speaking, though, hiring managers can only ask questions directly related to the qualifications of the position.

One area they can ask that relates to both your personal and work life is about your personality traits. This includes your leadership or work style and the types of environment you work best in. Asking questions related to soft skills and personality will help them to assess whether you’re the right fit for the company’s culture.

Questions Related to Politics or Religion

The only time an employer can ask questions related to these areas is when you are interviewing for a religious or political organization. Otherwise, questions such as “Do you need time off for religious holidays?” or “Do you follow politics? What are your views?” are off limits. These don’t relate to the job, the company, or your ability to perform the role, and can even lead to discrimination.

Questions Related to Age

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 is designed to protect job seekers over the age of 40 and limits the age-related questions that can be asked during the interview. Some that are illegal include:

  • How old are you?
  • When were you born?
  • When did you graduate from high school?
  • There’s a large age disparity between you and other co-workers. Will that be a problem for you?
  • How much longer do you plan to work until you retire?

The only time an employer needs to know your age is to ensure you’re old enough to legally work, such as in an environment that serves alcohol. Instead of asking your age or birth year, they can ask something like: “Are you legally old enough to work for our company?”

Questions Related to Citizenship or Nationality 

For most companies, asking about citizenship and nationality are also off limits, as long as the candidate has the proper paperwork in place. Some forms of out-of-bound questions include:

  • Where did you grow up?
  • Where are your parents from?
  • Were you born in the U.S.?

Employers can, however, ask questions such as “Are you legally allowed to work in the U.S.?” or “Can you speak, read, and write English proficiently?” Another question you can be asked, legally, is: “If we hire you, can you provide proof of citizenship?”

Questions Related to Health or Disabilities

An employer can’t come right out and ask about your health or any physical disabilities. In fact, the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) says it’s illegal to discriminate against an applicant or employee with a disability. What they can ask, instead, is whether you are “able to perform the duties of the position you are applying for.”

Other related questions that are not allowed include:

  • Have you experienced a workplace injury in the past?
  • Have you filed a worker’s comp claim before?
  • Are there any medical conditions you have that would get in the way of you doing the job?

Questions Related to Gender

Questions about gender should be avoided altogether since they don’t have any bearing on job performance. So, if you’re asked a question like, “should I address you as ‘Ms.’ or ‘Mrs.,’” it’s actually illegal. Also, questions like “Are you comfortable working for a boss who is female?” are likewise prohibited.

Questions Related to Criminal Records

This can be a gray area and depends on the state you live in to determine whether it’s legal or not to ask. However, if you’re applying to a position with a law enforcement agency, for instance, then inquiring about a criminal background is legal and expected. Likewise, if you’re applying for a position where you’ll be handling money or overseeing children, finding out about your background does, in fact, relate to the position and is allowed.

Questions Related to Credit or Finances 

In some cases, credit records can be screened in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970 and the Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996. However, an employer cannot ask you questions, such as “Do you own a home?” or “Have you ever declared bankruptcy?”

Get Professional Help with Your Next Interview

There are many questions that are off limits and that you can decline to answer. However, for those questions hiring managers can ask – ones that can be difficult to know how to answer – it’s important to prepare. This way, your responses are thoughtful and impactful.

If you’d like help getting ready for your next interview, turn to ResumeSpice. We know what hiring managers are looking for in responses and can help you improve your interview game, so you stand out and get the offer. Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.

Resume Trivia

Writing a resume that gets results is a challenge for most people. Yet, it’s imperative if you want to get hired. So how can you tell if you’ve made your case and created a resume that stands stronger against other candidates? You need to make sure yours is optimized, easy to read, and compelling. Ask yourself these questions to check that it is.

What is an ATS and why is it important?

Answer: An ATS is an Applicant Tracking System. It’s software that uses algorithms based on parameters set by an employer. It screens resumes that are submitted in response to a job posting, so that hiring managers and recruiters can focus on other aspects of the hiring process, like interviews.

This means, in many cases, your resume is first seen by a robot to determine if you’re a good fit. According to reports, around 75% of resumes don’t make it through the ATS due to improper formatting and lack of keywords.

How long should my resume be?

Answer: This depends on how much experience you have. If you have several years or more in your field, then a two page resume makes sense. It will allow you to dive deeper into your background and showcase your accomplishments. A longer resume also enables you to better optimize it for an ATS since there’s more opportunities for keywords.

If, however, you’re an entry level worker, stick to one page. There’s not enough experience in your background to justify writing a two-page resume.

Should an objective be included?

Answer: Gone are the days of the objective at the top of every resume. This simply wastes space with a statement that the hiring manager knows: you want to get the job. Instead, use this space to list a Summary of Qualifications in bullet point format. These should be your key skills and accomplishments that are most relevant to the job opportunity. The information you list here should therefore be customized for each position you apply to.

How long does a hiring manager take to read through a resume?

Answer: Around 10 seconds. It’s a shocking number but a good reminder that you really do only have a few seconds to make a good impression. This is why a Summary of Qualifications can be especially impactful. It’s also important to format your resume in a way that is easy to read, with bullet points, bolded job titles, one-inch margins, and a font size no smaller than 11 points.

What’s the best way to start each sentence?

Answer: When you’re writing your resume, use action verbs and descriptive language, rather than passive words. Examples include “Analyzed,” “Led,” “Researched,” or “Spearheaded.” This type of language is more powerful and persuasive, showcasing your actions and the results you achieved.

Is it ok to use abbreviations?

Answer: Think of your resume as a formal business document. Use the full name of colleges, cities, degrees and other words (like Street instead of St.) and skip the abbreviations at the first mention. However, if you mention the word again, then you can abbreviate it. This also helps with optimizing your resume for the ATS since it allows you to utilize variations of keywords.

What’s the biggest reason resumes are discarded?

Answer: There are several. The first primary reason is due to spelling and grammatical errors. One won’t ruin your chances, but a resume filled with them will be passed over.

Another issue that is surprisingly common? Including a headshot. Unless you’re applying for an acting gig, it’s never ok to include a headshot. If you do, it can actually increase your odds of not getting called for an interview because a hiring manager doesn’t want to be perceived as biased based on your appearance.

Another reason resumes get the boot? An unprofessional email address. Make sure your email address isn’t something like prettykitty123@gmail.com and create a professional one with just your name.

Should references be on a resume?

Answer: No, the hiring manager will either ask you to bring a list of references to an interview, or ask about references later in the hiring process. So, you don’t need to include references.

However, if you have a mutual acquaintance, you can mention it in your resume as an ice breaker (as long as you check with your acquaintance first). Also, skip the “references available upon request” statement on your resume. This wastes space and is unnecessary.

Do you need help avoiding mistakes and crafting a killer resume?

Answer: Whatever type of job you’re looking for, the resume writers at ResumeSpice can help you make your case as to why you’re a great fit candidate. We can simply edit your resume if it just needs some polishing, or completely write it from scratch, so it’s more compelling. When we’re done, you’ll get a great resume that stands out. Simply reach out at 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.