If Resume Spills Only Slightly onto Second Page, Best to Condense to One


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Yuanjie writes: I am now writing my resume and cover letter based on your online advice. I am a student and will get my PhD degree in mechanical engineering soon. My resume is slightly more than one page. Do I have to compress it into one page?
The Career Doctor responds: I’m glad you are thinking ahead and working on your job-search materials. What do you plan to do after you receive your Ph.D.? Do you plan to go into business/industry? If so, then you probably do want to write a resume. In this case, I would guess your resume will be longer than a page — just based on your education alone. I believe it’s almost always best to go to a two-page resume than to reduce font size and margins (and readability) just to get your resume to fit on one page. Remember the rule that if you go to a second page, that the second page should have enough content to fill at least half a page. Or do you plan to go into academia? If so, then what you really need is a curriculum vitae, which shares some attributes with a resume, but which tends to be longer because there is more information is included in a CV. An academic CV would include information beyond your education and experience, including scholarly contributions, professional development, teaching, and service. That said, the goal of a resume and CV is the same. These are marketing documents designed to help you get to the next step in the job-search process — the job interview. Learn more about CVs by reading this article published on Quintessential Careers: Preparing a Curriculum Vitae (CV).