Posted by Brian McCullough
Yesterday, I had a quick post about the one page resume myth.
But what happens if you can’t even fill one page? Usually, you’d only encounter this situation if you a) haven’t had much work experience or b) held only one job for a long period of time.
There are solutions for these problems.
If you’re a student or recent grad, and you don’t have much work experience, the solution is simple: just load up on your grades, academic achievements and other activities. An employer will understand that a young person might not have an extensive career history. They know you’re just starting out. You just need to show them you have something on the ball and are eager to gain experience. Listing grades, courses taken, clubs, sports, activities… that’s the sort of thing you will fill your resume with. It shows you have a pulse.
If you have held only one job, you just need to get creative. Don’t be afraid to be wordy about all the different facets of your job. Go into all the different responsibilities inherent in what you do and try to group them into different categories. A secretary, for example, doesn’t just take dictation. There are Office Management, Administrative, Client Relations, Public Relations, Scheduling, IT Support, Human Resources Management, Scheduling and Inventory Control aspects of that single job that could be expanded upon.
If you’ve been in the workplace for a while, but you just can’t seem to come up with enough info to fill a resume, then I’d go ahead and try to emphasize things like personal activities, volunteering, clubs and that sort of thing. Usually, I’m completely against putting too much personal data in your resume. I think a resume should be a professional career document, and not read like a personal ad (“I enjoy boating and fishing.). But in this case, putting anything down is better than putting nothing down.
Finally, you can always get a bit creative with fonts and text size to gain a bit of space. If your resume’s font size is 10pt, go ahead and increase it to 12pt. But no bigger than that! You could also increase the font size of category titles like Career History and Professional Profile… that sort of thing. And don’t be afraid to pick a page design that makes use of indentation and margins. For example, look at how this resume design takes up a bunch of page space without looking like it’s fudging.