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.
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.