How to Keep Your Résumé to One Page

A longer résumé can only be accepted if you are applying for an executive position or have, say, 20 years of working experience or more. To some people, a one-page résumé is more than enough. For starters, if your résumé is anywhere longer than one page, you run the risk that the hiring manager won’t read the whole thing. If your résumé is more than one page, then it possibly contains information you do not need for the job you are applying for.

Before we go into the intricacies of how to keep your résumé to one page, let us discuss first what a résumé is.

résumé or resume is a piece of a document containing background, skills, and accomplishments. Résumé can be used for a variety of reasons, but most often they are used to secure new employment.

A typical résumé contains a “summary” of relevant job experience and education. The résumé is usually one of the first items, along with a cover letter and sometimes an application for employment, which a potential employer sees regarding the job seeker and is typically used to screen applicants, often followed by an interview.

How to Keep Your Résumé to One Page

Make your résumé one page by ensuring it is tailored to the position you are vying for. Edit the content of the résumé to be actionable, direct, and specific to the applied position.

Highlight Your Hard Skills
Go through the job specifications carefully and look out for the hard skills required or recommended by the employer or related to the job listing. List as many of them as possible.

A few hard skills would include but not limited to the following

  • related certifications,
  • demonstrated proficiency in computer system operation or programming,
  • language proficiency other than your first language, and
  • office skills like typing speed.

Sometimes it is not necessary to include the soft skills e.g team player or leadership, but rather it is advisable you include those qualities in the description of your accomplishments.

It is worthy of note that you must possess the hard skills you listed. Know that, if you are hired, you will be asked to carry out anything included in the job listing as part of your job.

List Your Relevant Work experience
Work experience means work that you’ve done – not just work that you got paid for. 

Cutting out references can buy you a few lines keeping in mind you want to keep your résumé to one page. Although some potential employers may ask you for them.

NOTE: DO NOT include the sentence “references available upon request.”

Your Education Section
If the degree or certificate you acquired is not related to your applied position, simply list the degree/certificate and the schools you acquired them from, and do not include any additional detail.

  • Pay attention to the education requirement of the job. If the job listing states that a bachelor’s degree is required, then include your bachelor’s degree on the résumé even if it was in a field of study not related to the job.
  • If you have a bachelor’s degree, you don’t need to include your high school education. The potential employer will realize that you have a high school diploma if you have a bachelor’s degree. You may leave your high school certificate if you went to an elite school and you learned through research. You may also leave if you know the hiring manager graduated from the same school.