Just saw a tweet from one of my talented clients:
Just got a call from an agency that said a 2 page #resume was way too long. it should be 1 page…very Frustrated!
Shrink or not shrink your resume to 1 page?
I read her resume again to see if I could see shrinking it. The general advice is that when someone requests a specific type of resume, go ahead and offer it. I told her she could comply with this one request but not make it a standard. There are times when a recruiter or hiring manager has a formula they use to send to their corporate clients. If that is the case, I, like many of my colleagues recommend following directions.
However, 99% of the resumes I create are 2 or more page resumes. I often create 3-page resumes for high-level executives. I create 2 page resumes for new graduates or even students still in college.
Let’s just examine the case though:
While with her last company, she worked for 5 years before the company went out of business.
Clearly, her former employer valued her skills enough to continually promote her. We used a Selected Accomplishment section:
- Decreased office and operations expenditures by 15% through implementing controls for stock and supplies, standardizing ordering procedures, delivering initial cost-savings of $50,000 and more cost savings in later years.
- Built effective relationships with multiple shipping companies, such as FedEx, UPS, SmartPost, USPS, and Brokers, learning shipping rules and restrictions and strategies to select the most cost-effective option for each customer, reducing shipping costs by $100,000 to $150,000.
There’s much more in the resume but each element tells her story and provides value. I agree with those who feel that a resume should not be packed with fluff to make it expand to two pages.
If you shrink your resume, you leave out your story
Three more stories from successful clients:
- Strategic Planning – Formulated strategic response proposal detailing material impervious to caustic chemicals, resulting in positive TUV and FDA inspection reports and supplied green light to resume sales of implanted medical devices as well as accolades from top management.
- Technology Optimization – Executed migration of SAP ERP system landscape from IBM data center to Amazon Cloud Services, delivering $1.7M in annual cost savings for infrastructure hosting.
- Value Chain Analysis | Process Documentation & Mapping – Designed and completed extensive analysis work on global Income Tax and Transfer Pricing (TP) processes for identification and implementation of re-engineering opportunities.
But if you dig deep to share the resume stories where you made a difference by decreasing costs, increasing sales, improving processes, or winning over the competition, it all adds value to the resume.
However, I struggle with why hiring managers would not want to make sure they have the right candidate. If they will invest salary dollars, training dollars, and all the additional compensation required to complete the hiring process, isn’t it worth it to spend a little time reading? No one wants to keep looking for the right employee.
Too many resumes to read?
I also understand recruiters who read 200 resumes a day or more struggle with the volume.
I had another client is a military transition to civilian life. I read him another dialog I had on Facebook with several recruiters who were adamant no student should ever have a 2-page resume. He had been a military recruiter who evaluated candidates all the time. His response was:
“Too bad, you can’t find the right candidate if you don’t have the right information! 200 resumes a day is not a big deal if you compare the cost of hiring the wrong person.”
What do you think?
Do you think the volume of candidates means you have to trim down the resume of a qualified person to 1 page?
Or do you think just maybe two pages to showcase accomplishments and make the choice clear is worth a little extra reading? As your partner in job search, I help you market your best self while answering tough questions in our interactive sessions. Learn more here.
Resume Design and Job Seeking Tips
Here are Design Resumes' latest articles on job search, resume design, resume writing, and Linkedin optimization articles I've written.
Professional Resume Writer
Here are ways I can help you land your dream job.
You may be halfway across the country or the world. When you work with me, we share coffee, laughs, and concerns. This turns the scary job search into creative, consultative writing and learning sessions.