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One-Page vs.Two-Page Resume

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The one-page resume does it all
By Sam Collins
Time = Money

Most hiring managers are short-staffed and busy. Many say a one-page resume is likely to get their attention. Some won't even look at the second page, unless the first page has caught their interest.

Resumes were never intended to include everything candidates accomplished in their careers. Few employers - at least at the resume stage - are concerned with what you did in your early professional life. The second page of a resume typically involves first jobs, educational credentials, personal data and military service. Much of this information is ancient history or shouldn't be included.

A well-written resume should summarize the qualifications and experiences most likely to interest a prospective employer. With creativity and a sharp pencil, the average two-page resume can be condensed into a targeted, tightly knit, one-page sales document.

In some circumstances, a longer resume is appropriate. Candidates in fields such as academia and medicine may require up to six pages or more. Similarly, a chief executive officer with an extensive background may fare better with a two- or three-page document. Each situation requires a different strategy. Consider your background and situation when writing your document.

But any resume can be a dismal failure if you neglect several important concepts. These include:

Market appeal
Most resumes suffer from a "sameness" factor that causes them to be overlooked. An effective resume is visually unique and conveys the impression of success. It differentiates you from your competition.
Strength of presentation

Most managers and executives read the first five or six lines of a resume (excluding the heading) then make a decision. A strong presentation attracts interest and makes the reader keep going.

Action orientation

A resume quickly must convey what you can do for an employer. It should communicate the transferability of your experience and the "value-added benefits" you bring to the organization.


Every accomplishment and personal trait the resume mentioned must support your job objective. A failure to target your resume properly can lead to a long and frustrating job search.

Both chronological and functional formats, or styles, offer advantages depending on your circumstances. Select the proper format for your needs. Either can be completed in one or two pages.
Don't assume there's only one way to describe your experience. Before choosing the length of your document, analyze your background and situation. Have a reason for including or excluding information, then determine the best format and make other decisions regarding your document.

A better resume is often two pages……

By Susan Guarneri
The problem with the one-page-fits-all approach to resume writing is that one page may not fit you very well. One-page documents are appropriate for many job seekers, especially entry-level candidates or those with less than 10 years experience. But trying to squeeze yourself into that mold may not be the best strategy.

Many resumes are lackluster, cookie-cutter versions of the one-page standard chronological resume. These documents often say little. They simply list a candidate's features in small type, much like a list of ingredients on a food product.

Documents such as this one are devoid of excitement or interest to employers. They're also usually crowded with information and are hard to read.

Think of your resume as a magazine advertisement. In a magazine packed with other ads, it must attract the reader's attention, be easy to read and offer benefits to readers. Otherwise, they'll pass over it. If it's effective, the ad will pique his interest and they'll want to learn more about or even order the product.

Your resume probably will have eight to 40 seconds to capture an employer's attention and keep it. Ask yourself:


Who's your target audience? What's the industry or niche?
What kind of job are you seeking? Entry- mid- or senior-level management?
Do you already have a referral or connection with this employer?

What's the employer seeking? How would your past experience, skills and knowledge meet these needs?

Your Results

The secret to writing a good resume is answering the employer's question: "What's in it for me?" Your resume must show what you can do by describing what you've done for others - solved problems, increased sales, improved employee motivation, cut costs, streamlined procedures, etc. Make them easy to visualize. Use dollar and relative amounts and descriptive results (i.e., $20 million annual savings achieved by reducing field employee turnover by 75%)

Delve into the employer's needs. Every industry and employer faces problems and concerns. Customize your resume to your audience. Relevant achievements will make the "buyer" want to meet you.


Resume Scanners

If your resume will be scanned into a computer database and searched for "keywords," a one-page document could hurt your chances. If there aren't enough keywords in your resume, you won't be selected to interview.

Readability also is a concern. It doesn't matter how many terrific keywords your resume contains if the typeface is too small for a computer (or hiring manager) to read. If you're faxing a resume, consider that the transmission tends to degrade readability.



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