One-page resume only? Outdated advice could be hurting your job search

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As the number of laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits continues to rise during the coronavirus pandemic, many people are looking for work. WGN News has started a series called “Back to Work” in an effort to help with those looking for jobs.

Career consultant Marvin Arts, Jr. spoke to the WGN Evening News and offered tips on resume writing.

 He said the length of you resume depend on your career level but there isn’t a single rule for how long a resume should be.

“Many of my clients have been given the advice their resume must be one page regardless of their career level,” he said. “That is outdated advice that can hinder your job search.”

Arts Jr. said for most entry-level professionals, a one-page resume will suffice. But there are exceptions.

 You don’t want to sell yourself short by trying to cram everything into a one-page resume and take the risk of leaving off critical information that is relevant for the positions you are applying to.

“For example, if they have spent significant time in college involved in professional organizations or internships and can highlight relevant achievements and experience,” he said.

According to Arts Jr. mid-career and executive-level professionals can have a resume longer than one page.

Your resume is the foundation of your job search. You want to ensure your resume is optimized for the ATS because there is a good chance your resume is not going directly into the hands of a recruiter or hiring manager when you submit your application. 

“A one-page resume for someone at this point in their career doesn’t do much for their job search,” he said. “A two-page resume will allow these individuals to display those accomplishments and emphasize their qualifications to the reader without leaving off essential information.”

The general rule of thumb is to give the reader about 10-15 years of your job history. However, you want to make sure that experience is relevant to the role that you are applying to and paints a clear picture of the direction you want your career to go.  

Arts Jr. also recommends making sure your resume is “customized” for the job in which you’re applying.

“There isn’t a one size fits all or a general resume because corporations and other company’s use applicant tracking systems that rely on algorithms to search for keywords,” he said.

 It is important that your resume aligns with the posted job description. 

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