Moved my resume from 4 pages to 1.5 pages. Not only does it read better, I think it looks a whole lot better.

My problem is that I have had a lot of contracting jobs interpersed with FTE positions since 1991. I have 10 entries right now and I've thrown out (potentially) relevant work experience during college and before (not McJobs, but real tech contracts I hustled in the 11th grade).

When do you give up and let it bleed past the first page? After following all the Your Resume stinks advice (margins, limited bullets -- only 3 at most going down to 1-2 in distant past) and improvising (collapsing contiguous contracts to a single "contract" job with specifics entered as bulleted "accomplishments", 10 pt fonts all through, bullets on left margin etc. etc) I am *still* long.

I either throw out bullets off the top which may be relevant, or remove them from the bottom where they are spare (does that mean I had *no* accomplishments in that job) or throw the stuff from 1991-1994 overboard.

9 pt fonts too hard to read? :?

suedavis's picture
Training Badge

[quote="joeshoff"]I either throw out bullets off the top which may be relevant, or remove them from the bottom where they are spare (does that mean I had *no* accomplishments in that job) or throw the stuff from 1991-1994 overboard.[/quote]

Here's what I did:

. . .
* Received the highest performance rating awarded in the organization.

[b]November, 1997-September, 2000: Software Engineer, Secant Technologies[/b] (first commercial EJB 1.0 implementation)
[b]September, 1994-January, 1997: Software Engineer, Ansoft Corporation[/b] (EM field simulation and electronics design automation)
[b]May, 1992-September, 1994: Lead Software Engineer, MetroHealth Medical Center[/b] (medical image processing "spreadsheet")
[i]Details of these early positions, and of part-time and summer programming jobs 1984-1991, available on request.[/i]

BSE in Computer Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, May 1992.
. . .

So I don't actually throw the early stuff overboard, but I don't give it more than one line per position, plus a blurb that gives a sense of what it was, and which might lead into in-interview questions.

joeshoff's picture

Now I feel stupid! :)

Great suggestion, great compromise!



Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Folks, if you've got 10 years experience, you NEVER include college jobs and before.

And I don't understand what you're doing, but I don't think I would do it.

What am I missing? Our sample resume shows a 20 year career, eight jobs, with multiple bullets under each, all on one page.


joeshoff's picture

I don't know why the sample fits and this one doesn't. Interestingly, when I cut-and-paste it into Word 2007 (with same .3" margins -- the least that I'm allowed without it trying to "fix" it for me), the sample resume doesn't fit on one page either (still times new roman 10 pt font). The returns on the right-hand-side in Word are the same as in the PDF. Unfortunately, I don't have much time to figure out the differences between the authoring tools though. Acrobat seems to provide more lines/page than Word allows.

Here's the math, though. At .3" margins, TNR 10pt I have 58 lines (in Word) to work with. 3 lines (name+contact+space) for contact information and 3 lines for Education, leaves me 52 lines to work with.

The shortest entry in the sample is 7 lines. Fitting all the 10 jobs within the space taken by the *shortest* description on the sample resume would require 70 lines. Even if I were to use something that gives me 62 lines, it's still not enough.

So the question is -- what's the best way to conform to the one page rule and not through the baby out with the bath.

I thought the suggestion of one-liners for contracts (short-term) seemed to me to be a nice compromise in lieu of going to two pages.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Type in here your top (most recent) job and your bottom (most ancient) job. I can't imagine that you need 7 lines for something 10 years ago.


joeshoff's picture

(8 lines in my format)
Nov. 2005 to Present: Development Director, Electronic Arts – Tiburon – Manage team of engineers and producers responsible for game-play mechanics and animation features of Madden and NCAA football games. Drive creative process, project schedule, production and bug-fixing activities for games. Work with game-teams to identify cross-dependencies, communicate status, resolve blocking issues, negotiate process improvements etc.
• Implement benchmarking process to measure the cost and improve predictability of project end date.
• Found innovative ways to deliver on-time and within budget in face of significant increase in scope and technology risks
• Gained and maintained studio’s second highest team morale survey and 0 regretted attrition
• Introduced major project management practices including: capacity “burn down” tracking, project risk management plans, automated dependency checking/notification

(1 line now - just ignored the accomplishments)
Aug. 1991 to Apr. 1993: Software Engineer, Harris Corporation, Melbourne, FL – software components for power generation control system.