Micki writes: I’m having a really hard time getting my resume down to one page. How much can I reduce the font size and margins to make it fit? Does the resume HAVE to be one page?
The Career Doctor responds:
Don’t sacrifice your resume’s readability to make it conform to any arbitrary “rules” about resume length.
It’s always pitiful when we have to whip out the magnifying class to read the tiny 8- or 9-point type on the resume of a job-seeker who has gone to absurd lengths to limit his or her resume to a certain number of pages. Don’t discard readable type (we suggest no smaller than 10.5 point; 11 to 11.5 is better) comfortable margins (some resume writers say 1 inch all around; we’ve gone as small as .7 space between lines white space and a pleasing eye-attracting layout just to cram your resume onto X number of pages. “It’s less taxing and time-consuming to read one and a half or two well-formatted pages than one page where everything’s squished together” observes Gail Taylor.
“Those resumes that do contain detailed information but are literally ‘crammed’ into one page are now frowned upon” says Grant Cooper in his Resume Critique Writer software. “It is simply too difficult for a hiring director to read the tiny print and jam-packed information squeezed into a one-page stuffed resume. Companies that once insisted on one-page resumes are perfectly happy with a clearly-written concise and well-formatted two-page resume that is easy to read yet has the detailed information they now need.”
Keep in mind that page length is all but irrelevant for resumes submitted only electronically. The Applicant Tracking Systems that most employers use don’t care how long your resume is. So the above advice pertains to print hard-copy resumes that you present in interviews and networking situations or that you submit via postal mail.