1. Your resume is a marketing document, not a detailed account of your work history. Think of your resume as a print advertisement. In an advertisement you want to be as concise as possible. You don't want to say too much, but just enough to pique others' interest. Refrain from being long-winded in your resume. Keep it short, highlight your results and accomplishments and move on. If you saw an advertisement for your favorite department store and wanted to know more information, what would you do? You would probably call or visit the store for more information. This is the effect you're going for when you submit a resume. You want the recruiter to be enticed enough to call you in for an interview to learn more about how you can add value to their organization.
2. Recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds reviewing your resume before they decide to continue reading it. What's the point of having more than one page if recruiters and hiring managers won't take the time to read it? The first few things recruiters want to see is your name, your education, your current title and company, your previous title and company, and the dates of your education and employment. These things, above all, need to stand out. Everything else is secondary, especially the things included on the second page.
3. When conducting a Google search, do you ever look beyond the first page of results? If you do, you're desperate for an answer. If you don't find what you're looking for on the first page, you'll probably redefine your search and be more specific in the new search. This is the mindset of the recruiter nowadays. If they don't find what they're looking for immediately, they move on until they find it. Furthermore, our attention spans are getting shorter by the second. This is demonstrated in our every day lives. Twitter is more popular than blogs now because it's very concise, it forces you to get to the point. Even more, Instagram now has more users than Twitter. Why? Because people simply don't want to read as much, not even 140 characters, they'd rather look at pictures to understand who you are. Reflect this trend by keeping your resume concise.
4. It puts a lot of pressure on people when they ask for a resume and you hand them a CV. The hiring manager who receives a resume that's more than one page gets more than she bargained for. She didn't expect a two or three page document, she expected a one-page resume. As a result, she won't read it. She will skim it at best so it should be organized. If the recruiter wants to know more about you and your work experience, they will invite you in for an interview. Don't attempt to squeeze every bit of information into what should be your print advertisement.
5. You really don't have that much work experience. As a young professional, you simply don't have enough work experience to call for a two-page resume. Don't feel compelled to include every job you've ever held. You can mention relevant job experience and training elsewhere in your application materials, like in the cover letter, or in the 'additional' section of your resume. The only time you should include the jobs you've held as an undergrad is when you just graduated and don't have any real work experience. If you graduated more than two years ago, employers don't care about what you did as an undergrad unless it was something to brag about, like finding the cure to cancer, or discovering a new species, or starting a business that made huge profit margins.
To keep your resume within one page, consider the following:
List your last three jobs, or the last five to seven years of your work experience. There's no need to go beyond the last seven years or three jobs because much of that information is no longer relevant. Employers want to know what you've done lately. Likewise, employers only care about your results on the most recent jobs you've held. If you held a job 10 years ago where you demonstrated awesome skills and produced monstrous results, but haven't demonstrated those same skills and results in the jobs you've had since, employers will think you need to brush up on those skills; if you don't use it, you'll lose it.
List three to seven bullet points per job. Your duties are implicit in your job title, so there's no need to list everything you've ever done. A savvy recruiter will know what duties come with virtually any given job, so there's no need to state what's already understood. You should use your bullet points to highlight your accomplishments because there's no way for a hiring manager to know what kind of results you can produce if you never mention them in your resume.
Omit needless words. Every word in your resume should be intentional and deliberately placed. If the word, phrase, sentence, or bullet point doesn't help describe how awesome you are, delete it from your resume. Every word should tell. Every bullet point should showcase the value you can provide. As there are no extra lines in a drawing or extra parts in a machine, there should be no extra words on your resume.
Get rid of your professional summary and/or objective. Your cover letter will serve this purpose. You never want to say anything in your resume that should be stated in your cover letter and vice versa. Your objective is to get the job, anything that says otherwise is weak. Your skills should be embedded in your bullet points, so no need to summarize them without any context. Besides, if they're only reviewing your resume for an average of six seconds, they won't read it, so omit it.
Widen your margins, use 11pt font size, and be sure to maximize the entire 8 ½ x 11 inch surface.
Place your name and contact information in the header of the page.
For my last job (Program Coordinator for the Ross School of Business), there were 191 applicants. At the time, I was an International Recruiter and I didn't have the experience they were seeking in candidates. I got the interview by communicating the value I could offer in a very clear and concise manner. I got the job by smashing the interviews.
A resume that's one page but loaded with great information, like positive results and accomplishments, says a lot about your communication skills as a job seeker. It says that you can summarize a lot of information in a clear and concise way, and that you have the ability to sort through a lot of data and extract the most important information. It also communicates the idea that you are abreast of current employment trends and that you understand how to stand out in a crowded job marketplace. By having a resume that's only one page, recruiters will thank you for understanding how precious their time is and you will be rewarded by going into the 'yes' pile.
Remember, employers don't need to know everything you did while on a job, they just need to know the best things. They don't care that you made coffee and copies every morning; they want to know that you made a difference, that you got things done, and that you added value. If your resume does showcase your value as described above, bravo! If it doesn't, contact us soon for help, you'll need it.