Thursday, February 15, 2007

Resume on One Page?

I have been working for the same company for nine years. Last year, we were bought by a larger competitor. As part of the acquisition, I have been promoted from a sales rep to an account exec. This new job entails all of my past responsibilities PLUS a few new ones relating to more managerial responsibilities.

I need to show both positions on my resume, but do not want to use up space on redundant job descriptions. I am trying to keep my resume to only one page. How can I accomplish this while still showing the details of my responsibilities with both companies?
-- Marc

by John West Hadley, Career Search & Career Enhancement Counselor, “Helping Job Seekers Who Are Frustrated With Their Search”

First off, why are you trying to keep your resume to only one page? You say that you have worked at the same company for nine years – is this your first job? If it’s not, then you should definitely have enough accomplishments to point to, so that a two-page resume would not only be appropriate, it would be expected! A hiring manager might even question why you don’t have enough accomplishments and results to fill more than a page, if you’ve been working longer than ten years.

If you are very recently out of school, a one-page resume is generally advisable, although I have worked with clients who had very powerful two-pagers even only a year out of graduate school.

Think of it this way: You shouldn’t go over to a second page just for the sake of doing so, but as long as you have important information to communicate, there is no reason to limit yourself to one page. (Just don’t ever go past two pages.)

As to how to incorporate your most recent job into your Experience section, here are two possibilities:

1. Split your chronology into two sections: one for the job since the promotion and one for the prior job. Separate your accomplishment bullets into the two job sections. (Obviously, there will be much more to list for the prior job at this point, but that’s OK.)
2. Show one line with both jobs, like this:
Account Executive (2005-Present), Sales Representative (1997-2005)
Then show all of your accomplishment bullets under the one section.

For more on putting together a powerful resume, drop me an email and I’ll be happy to forward you Why Resume’s Don’t Sell!, an article I wrote for my Career Tips newsletter. You may also want to check out the articles available on my website.

Susan Ireland’s Two Cents
How Long is too Long for a Resume? makes some good points about this, as well.

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