In the past, resumes were almost always single page documents. However, the modern resume takes many different forms. From executive resumes to resume portfolios, certain resumes work better with two or more pages. The most creative options—like online or video resumes—may not even have pages at all.
However, there are many situations where a one-page resume is still the best choice. In this guide, we’ll help you decide if a one-page resume is right for you. Then, we’ll walk you through how to make one with our easy-to-use one-page resume templates.
Should Your Resume Be On One Page?
Since resumes have always typically been one-page documents, many hiring managers today will still be looking for a single page document.
Should you make a one-page resume? If one or more of the following applies to you, the answer is probably yes:
- Your desired job is in a conservative field like finance
- You have a limited amount of work experience
- You’re applying to an entry-level job or a part-time job
- A one-page resume is requested in the job description
If any of these apply to you, you may need to make a multiple-page resume:
- You have a significant amount of relevant experience
- You’re making an executive or senior-level resume
- Essential information doesn’t fit on one page unless you use a tiny font
- A longer document is requested in the job description (like a C.V. for academic jobs)
Keep in mind that your resume doesn’t need to contain lots of depth about your past jobs and abilities. A resume and a cover letter are just a quick “advertisement” that opens the door for an interview where an employer may ask for more details from a job seeker.
So, most of the time, a short resume is the best choice. A single page is easy for employers to look over quickly as it’s not overwhelming, and it can contain much information. Let’s look at how to use the space effectively and make a professional resume.
How to Make a Resume One Page
On a single page resume format, organization is key.
If your existing resume is already longer than a page, that’s not a problem. It’s easy to pare your resume length down.
Begin by taking some notes to help you decide what to include on your resume and what to remove. Figuring out first what information to keep or delete will make the drafting and editing process easy.
Organize your notes in three sections:
- what you definitely want to keep on your resume
- what you can do without
- what can stay only if you have enough space
Use this inventory as you craft your new one-page resume.
Even if you have a lot of work experience, you should still be selective about what goes on your resume. Keep only the experience that is most relevant to the job you want. Also, there’s rarely a need to include work that was more than 10 or 15 years ago.
Let’s take a look at some techniques you can use to organize your resume layout and content, and make the best use of a single page.
A professional summary, as opposed to an objective statement, is a good way to use the limited space of a one-page resume. It gives more details than an objective statement without taking up much more space.
A summary quickly highlights your years of experience and major career achievements at the top of your resume, instead of pushing them further down the page.
If you want a heading for your professional summary, use your desired job title (such as “Magazine Editor”). Then, write a sentence or two, or a few bullet points, to neatly sum up your career to date.
A good space-saving technique on a modern resume is to list accomplishments from your prior jobs, rather than tasks or duties performed.
Listing every duty you had at each job can take up a lot of space, and there is often overlap. However, if you list just your accomplishments – the highlights of what you achieved at each position – you will both save room and provide potential employers with the information they want to see.
Bullet points are also a good way to organize many of your resume sections. In any section that involves a list–such as your work history or college degrees–you can use bullet points to save space and keep your resume neatly organized.
Your choice of fonts makes a big difference in your resume length.
Obviously, font size is important. You can try shrinking the font size a bit if your two-page resume is just barely over a page. Twelve-point is considered standard, but you can try 11 or even 10-point depending on the font style (some fonts are larger than others). However, you should never go below 10-point – a tiny font will make your resume too hard to read.
You can also save crucial resume space just by choosing a font that takes up less room. Sans-serif fonts, like Verdana, generally take up less space than serif fonts, like Times New Roman. Sans-serif fonts have the added benefit of looking more modern.
On a resume, standard one-inch margins aren’t strictly necessary. If you are having trouble fitting all your information on one page, try shrinking your margins a bit to open up more space.
Don’t make the margins smaller than a half-inch, as that will make the page look too crammed with information. Between a half-inch and an inch though, you’ll have room to find the margins that look best while keeping the one page length.
Your one-page resume shouldn’t be completely crammed full of words and images. The eye needs some white space to help process and sort the information on your resume.
Think of the white spaces on your resume as paragraph indents or spaces between chapters of a book. These spaces make the entire document easier to read, and prevent it from seeming overwhelming.
Always be sure the white space on your resume is balanced. You don’t want a lot of space on one side of the resume, with all the information packed on the other side. This makes your resume look sloppy and disorganized.
Use bullet points to add some white space and break up text blocks, in addition to keeping things organized. Also, leave a bit of space between each resume section (and format your resume so all the spacing is consistent). Nicely spaced resume headers and borders can also help make your resume more visually appealing.
You should always tailor your resume to the job you’re looking for. Tailoring it to different jobs can also help keep the one page length. As you apply to different positions, you can add or remove information for relevance.
It’s a good idea to have a few different versions of your resume for your job search. For example, if you’re applying for a customer service position, have one resume for restaurant jobs and a different one for retail jobs. There will be some overlap between the two, but you can remove excess information from each version and keep only the details relevant to a particular job search.
There are many tactics for presenting information in creative ways that save space.
An excellent example is the resume that design firm Novoresume created for the famous tech entrepreneur, Elon Musk.
Musk has decades of experience starting successful businesses and changing the world of technology as we know it. Yet, Novoresume didn’t make him a multi-page resume: This résumé for Elon Musk proves you never, ever need to use more than one page (by Business Insider).
The firm used creative techniques, like a “Skills and Competences” infographic, to show lots of detail with minimal space. Although the resume they created has much information, including Languages and Interests, it’s formatted so well that the resume is not cluttered or overwhelming.
Be inspired to try modern resume format techniques, like visuals and infographics, to keep your own resume at a single page. Play with different templates to see which one tells your career story most effectively.
Supplement Your Resume Online
If you want to give employers access to more information about you, supplement your application with an online document.
Add a LinkedIn URL, or link to your website or online portfolio in your Contact Information section. This tells employers where they can learn more about you, and saves you from having to add extra details on a second page.
What Don’t You Need on Your Resume?
There are a few things you almost never need on a resume. Here’s some information that can be removed to keep your one-page resume streamlined.
Include your city, state, and zip code, but skip the exact street address–it’s not necessary and won’t help you get a job.
High School Education
Your high school diploma generally doesn’t need to go on your resume. If you have a college degree or some college experience, that can take its place. And even if you have never attended college, relevant work experience can be more important than information about your high school education.
If you only have a high school diploma and it is required for the job, or if you had achievements or honors at your school, you may want to keep that information on your resume. However, this is best when you don’t have much work experience, and you graduated from high school recently (less than five years ago).
There’s no need to list references on most resumes, or even to state “References Available Upon Request.” Employers will assume you already have references if you’re looking for a job (and you should!).
A few exceptions exist. If you’re applying for a medical assisting job, for example, it can be good to include references so that potential employers can confirm your skill level and training.
Irrelevant or Old Jobs
Jobs that have nothing to do with your current job search don’t belong in your resume.
If you have limited work experience in the field, you might include other jobs, just to show that you are a good employee and have marketable skills. However, if space is becoming an issue, get rid of those irrelevant jobs immediately.
There’s also no need to include very old work history on your resume. Use a chronological format to keep only the most recent jobs that will fit on one page. Or, use a functional or combination format to keep only the jobs that are most relevant.
It’s important to use white space effectively to make your resume look visually pleasing. However, you may find there are extra spaces on your resume that can be deleted in order to keep the length at one page.
If you have lots of space between the Contact Information section and the rest of your resume, for example, consider reformatting so there is only as much space there as necessary. Design techniques can help eliminate extra space while keeping things organized.
One-Page Resume Examples
Our resume templates make it easy to create an organized, single page resume. You can choose from chronological, functional, and combination formats below.
With one of these resume templates, you can easily fit all of your resume information on one page, but many templates can also easily be used as two-page resumes. A professional, organized one page resume will help set you above the competition in your job search. Get started with the tips above, and you’ll be well on your way to landing an interview for your dream job.
A chronological resume is best used when you have several years of consistent work experience in the field you’re applying to. These templates neatly organize your work history in reverse chronological order on a single page.
A functional resume works nicely when you have less work experience in the field you’re applying to. This can be effective if you’ve recently switched careers or if you have gaps in your job history. Our functional resume templates put the focus on your skills and achievements.
If you want to include some chronological work experience, but also want to highlight your other abilities on the same page, a combination resume is the right choice. These combination templates combine the best of the chronological and functional formats on one page.