4 Times a One-Page Resume Can Actually Hurt You

Aaah, if I had a dollar for all the times I've had to convince someone that, not only have they earned the right to extend their resume beyond a single page, but that it's nearly imperative that they do so.

I'd be loaded, that's for darned sure.

Come, come.

Let us gather round and talk about the incredibly common belief that the world will come to a screeching halt and no organization worth its salt will ever (and I mean, not ever) consider you as a serious candidate if you dare bust out a resume that extends to a second (or, gasp, third) page.

I'm not sure where we all learned this. College textbooks? Well-meaning parents or mentors? Co-workers who talk so authoritatively that you don't dare question the validity of anything that comes out of their ever-flapping mouths?

Wherever the myth of the one-page resume is coming from, it's coming hard and heavy. To the point that many job seekers just take it as a known fact that a resume M-U-S-T be one page long, period.

This, by the way, is baloney.

Now, do not get me wrong. I'm not a proponent of long resumes that blabber on unnecessarily. Not ever. In fact, I'm a big believer that every word on your resume needs to earn its spot on the page, and that showcasing your capabilities in a succinct and compelling manner should be your number one goal with your resume. (This is a marketing document, not your autobiography, people.)

But here's the rub. A one-page resume could actually hurt your job search sometimes. Did you hear that? It could hurt you. And that is not what you want to have happen when you're working to land your next great gig.

Here are four times that one-pager may work against you:

1. You've been in your career for more than a couple of years

When you're a new professional, or have been in one (and only one) job for several years, it may be perfectly doable to craft a killer one-page resume. However, as you roll forward in your career -- and, presumably, land new jobs, earn promotions and take on new challenges -- you're going to have more to showcase. 

Many professionals, as their careers progress, start hacking and tweaking and abbreviating so that they can keep the darned resume to one page forever and ever. They'll bump down the font size and squish things in to the point of ridiculousness before they will consider graduating to a second page. They'll also cut stuff out that they don't really want to cut out.

And this is where problems can arise. If you err on the side of brevity in the name of preserving a one-page format, the reviewer (both the resume scanning software and the human reviewer) won't be able to quickly understand how and why you make sense for the role you're pursuing.

And if they cannot easily connect those dots, guess what? You're done-zo. 

2. You've held several jobs that are relevant and need to be highlighted

Regardless if you're a relatively early-career professional or not, if you've held numerous relevant jobs, you're for sure going to want to highlight them, and make them a part of the compelling story of you.

You also want to (as much as humanly possible) avoid having gaps in your resume. And so, rather than hacking out jobs or saying almost nothing about them (in the name of maintaining a one-page format), give yourself permission to head on over to a second page if need be.

Again, craft your content wisely and succinctly, but rest assured that no one is going to fall over and die if you showcase your talents across a page-and-a-half.

3. You work on big projects and need to showcase them individually

This is a common challenge among consultants and project managers (especially IT project managers), who are often placed on big, finite assignments or major implementations that, alone, can read like a standalone job. Often, there's some amazing "meat" within each of these assignments -- meat that should be illustrated so that your next employer can figure out how and why you'd be a great addition to their team. 

Rather than completely glossing over major projects like this (just so you can stay within that magical one-page format), consider creating a subsection (called something like "Select Client Engagements" or "Major Projects") within roles involving big projects, and then succinctly highlight two or three that you feel are important to showcase individually.

4. You've got several substantial volunteer roles or relevant side projects to mention

If you're a do-gooder, high achiever or super active community member, you most certainly should not be penalized for your contributions, or feel pressured to chop them out of your resume. For those of you actively involved in volunteer roles, side jobs / projects or other community endeavors, consider evaluating these extracurriculars and showcasing the ones you think are most impressive and / or most relevant to your target audience.

Certainly, you don't need to list out every stinking thing (if there are a lot of them), but don't feel stressed about highlighting the "best of" activities, even if that takes you beyond one page.

Now, be clear, please, that I'm not advocating for multiple page resumes for the sake of it. Your resume should truly be a concise, compelling marketing document that (immediately) entices your target audience. But the widespread paranoia over the one-page resume just needs to stop. In 12+ years of recruiting, I've not had a single corporate hiring manager look me in the eye and say, "Jenny, this candidate looks interesting. Unfortunately, she has a two-page resume, so we're going to have to pass."

Not one time.

So say what you need to say. Make it grab my attention. Make the words earn their spot on the page. And stop freaking out about keeping it to one page at all costs.

And if you need help figuring it all out, head on over to our Weekend Resume Makeover course (save $40 with promo code: RUSH40), Ridiculously Awesome Resume Kit, or check out our one-on-one resume services.


Photo: Flickr Creative Commons (Anonymous Account)


How to Kill it on a Video Job Interview

This is a post written JobJenny.com senior copywriter Karen Friesen

Job seekers, step right up and meet your new career search compadre, more widely known as…

(drum roll, please)

...your webcam.

If you've not encountered the video interview yet, buckle up. You very well may as you roll forward through your current or next career transition. Just as it has with every other industry on Earth, technology is shaking up job search.

More specifically, it’s changing the process many companies follow in searching for and hiring new talent. Welcome to video interviewing, a recruiting tool that allows employers to efficiently screen job contenders, sort out the most qualified candidates and introduce them to hiring managers, all without having an applicant so much as brush their teeth or get out of their pajama pants.

It’s an appealing (if not necessary) option for many employers, particularly larger companies who typically have hundreds or thousands of positions to fill each year, and and exponentially more applicants. But for those among us who are not proud owners of a selfie stick and still don’t have a YouTube channel, getting front and center with a video camera and pressing “record” can be more than a bit intimidating.  

Now might be a good time to limber up and get comfortable with your video self, however. This technology appears to not only be here to stay, but becoming prevalent in companies of all sizes, not just the whopper corporations.

To get the scoop on this growing force in the hiring world, we talked with Montage, a provider of “voice and video interviewing technology” services to companies. Serving up a full-scale interviewing platform, Montage helps companies move contenders from initial application through the hiring process while offering the flexibility to customize each step.

We chatted with the company's marketing team recently to discuss the benefits of video interviewing, along with the best ways job seekers can prepare for the process. 

Here's what they had to say:

Q. How are companies currently using video interviewing technology?
A. Companies like software that helps them show off their brand and communicate fully with job seekers. You might see videos from the hiring company or hiring manager. Some companies ask a variety of questions within an on-demand interview or have hiring managers appear on video to ask questions. This allows candidates to see and meet them early in the process, learn more about the company and make an informed decision about working there. 

Questions asked of candidates might require video or audio responses, answers to multiple choice questions or a short essay response. Companies can custom-build questions specific to each job.

Q. What are the most important things for applicants to know in preparing for video interviewing? 
A.  Embrace it! This is an opportunity to really shine through. If it’s a live interview, we highly recommend getting onto the technology early and getting comfortable with it, before the actual interview. Practice with a friend if you can, so when the time comes, you can focus on the interview and not the technology.

If it’s an on-demand or pre-recorded interview, get yourself situated in a quiet, well-lit place and tackle the questions one by one. Get to the point quickly. Look at the camera and smile. It will help show the recruiter that you’re both tech savvy and confident.

Q. For job seekers, what are the advantages to video interviewing vs. following a traditional interviewing process?
A. This format offers the perfect opportunity to bring life to your resume and express your enthusiasm for the company and the role. You have a chance to showcase your communication skills, clearly articulate your ideas or share an anecdote. We’ve also learned from our analysis that companies tend to speed up their decision making when this technology is in place. That’s a huge advantage in the sense that the job seeker often knows the conclusion – positive or not – quicker.
Q. Is this technology the future of job search and hiring?
The trends point toward more and more employers adding technology into the hiring process, and video interviewing is certainly an important aspect of this. Technology that just focuses on efficiency is not enough, however. That’s not what employers want or need. But technology that focuses on efficiency while also giving candidates a great experience will win because it caters to both simultaneously. 

Q. How can applicants put their best foot (and face) forward in a video interview?
A. The best advice is to embrace the technology and yet ignore it. What that means is: talk to the camera (not your computer screen) as if the person is sitting three feet away from you. If this is a “live” encounter, the experience is not much different than sitting across a table from one another. But if it’s an on-demand interview, remember that the recruiter will be reviewing your responses alongside dozens (sometimes hundreds) of others. So get to the point quickly and come alive during the interview. Show that you’re confident and comfortable with both your answers and the technology. That’s what employers are looking for. 

Photo: Flickr.com Creative Commons (David Burillo)

How Finding Freedom Can Revive Your Life (& Job Search)

The first time I went, I worried about my yoga mat. Was it the right kind? Will I look like a newbie with this particular mat? (Do people even pay the hell attention to other people's mats?)

The second time I went, I worried about my technique. Was I breathing the right way? Did I have my hands in the right spot? Was this an actual downward dog, or a weird sort of teepee move that I was making up?

The third time I went to yoga, I made a genuine commitment to simply giving myself over to the whole deal. I went into the now, rather than allowing the worries of my day, week and year (holy heck, 2016 has been a doozy) -- or my insecurities over how I looked -- barge their way into this sacred time and space.

And for the first time (perhaps in my life, and that is no joke), I fell into a calm, meditative state. And it was really, really amazing. Peaceful. Soothing. And admittedly, a little bit surreal.

In one hour, I went from, "Uhhh...I'm not at all sure yoga is my thing (and seriously, can someone tell me with authority if this mat is the right one?)" to "Can we bottle this feeling? Can I access it on command? Will this happen to me every time if I keep coming??"

This was three months ago. I've returned to yoga about 40 times since then. And not only am I becoming one strong mo-fo (I'm forever making my kids feel my muscles nowadays), I'm gaining something far, far more valuable than biceps.

I'm gaining freedom.

Freedom from the negative internal dialogue so many of us replay over and over and over in our minds every day. Freedom from the tension and stress that goes part and parcel with running a business and a household  (and also comes with working in a demanding corporate job, or being unemployed). Freedom that strips away the clutter and enables me to fully embrace my flaws, celebrate and appreciate my power, and acknowledge and feel proud of how much I have to offer.

This journey into yoga has been so surprisingly rewarding, in just a short period of time.

So I got to thinking -- Why not take this further?

That's when I began reading up on the benefits of meditation, and how exactly to go about it. And this is where my pal and fellow Portlander Meg Worden comes into the story.

I am a neophyte when it comes to full-on self-care. Yes, of course. I've always tried to eat right, sleep enough and exercise at least a couple of times a week. But until I started yoga, these efforts were always pretty much on auto-pilot. And the stress was always still there. And my body always felt like it was in a state of semi-exhaustion.

And the clutter was still in my head, sapping energy that would have come right in handy for my business.

So when I was ready to look at the meditation stuff, I turned to Meg. She's a brilliant health and wellness coach who has this self-care business on lock. And as luck would have it, my timing was perfect. She had just launched a seven-session audio course, Embodiment 101,  that helps people who struggle with stress, anxiety, adversarial relationships with their bodies or the inability to "get out of their heads".

(Hello, is that not all of us, at least from time to time?)

Embodiment 101 teaches people how to make long, deep breaths a habit (something I have historically stunk at), how to tune into (and honor) your body's needs, and how to gain comfort and confidence with your situation or insecurities ... so that you can go out and serve the world like a rock star. 

It's a wonderful resource for, well, anyone, but it's particularly wonderful for anyone feeling debilitated by the stress of a job search, the anxiety created by a job you don't like,  and / or fears tied to economic uncertainty.

The modules are easy to get through, instantly calming and are fast becoming a part of my next chapter of "Jenny Foss 2.0." (I WILL ROCK MY '40s!)

Best news of all...

Meg has generously offered all JobJenny.com readers a special 25% off deal on Embodiment 101, a deal that lasts all week if you're interested.

That'll score you the entire course for $74 (reg. $99) if you download it by end of day Friday, 9/30.

To access this deal, simply click on the link below. No promo code necessary.

And whether you take advantage of this opportunity or no, please (pretty please) vow right here and now to do everything in your power to honor your bodies and put your health, sanity and peace of mind at the very top of your list -- through job search and through your entire lives.

And for heaven's sake, don't worry about the damned yoga mat. 

Photo provided by MegWorden.com

How to Make Connections in an Industry (When You're Certain You Have None)

The following is a guest post by our intern, Darby Hennessey, a native Portlander and journalism student at the University of Mississippi. 

Launching a job search in a new industry -- one in which you have few contacts --  can feel a lot like being the new kid at school: nobody knows who you are, striking up friendships feels awkward (at best) and, on top of it all, there’s a giant pile of homework to contend with.

It all adds up to a lot of ‘yuck’

But if you really want to break into that sector, you've pretty much got two choices: 

  1. Buck up and find a way to forge new connections, or
  2. Give up

I vote for buck up, every time. 

Building and nurturing industry contacts is extremely helpful – both during your search and once you’ve landed your next gig. Whether it’s via LinkedIn, through a coworker, or a friend-of-a-friend, having someone (or someones) to communicate with, learn from. or enlist for support is critical when you're looking to pivot your career.

So how do you tackle this assignment when you’re switching industries and your list of insider acquaintances and confidants adds up to a big fat zero?  

First and foremost, do not panic. And don't throw up your hands and assume it's hopeless.

Instead, consider leveraging these tools as means to forge valuable connections with people in an industry of interest (or, even your current industry if you've done little to branch out in recent year):


Twitter's not just for millennials and celebrities. It’s also an incredibly helpful, interactive site for active job seekers, and all professionals (especially when you're working to build thought leadership.)  

What, specifically, can you do on Twitter?

First, find and follow the leaders in your industry. But don’t stop there. Make sure you retweet their best posts, reply with thoughtful questions, or perhaps even send them a quick direct message to establish contact.

A word of Twitter caution: there is a fine line between “attentive and interested Twitter follower” and “overzealous weirdo.” Don’t be the creeper. Stay on the safe side of the line, sharing your enthusiasm and making your interests clear without ‘over-Twittering.’  

Conferences and Trade Shows

It seems there’s a conference for every industry. (Including ones for ventriloquists, Abraham Lincoln lookalikes and the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas. We checked.)

Bottom line? There’s an amazingly high chance the field you're targeting has at least one annual conference. It probably has several. If you play it right, these events can provide fantastic opportunities for attendees to meet new people -- people who are influencers in the very field you're targeting. 

Your goal at these events? Go to as many sessions or workshops as you can, ask thoughtful questions, and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself as a newbie to the industry. This status may actually work to your advantage, as professionals are usually happy to help out “the new guy” with pointers and introductions. 

LinkedIn (of course)

Assuming you already have a solid LinkedIn profile (and, if not, we can help you remedy that situation), tap into this resource big time when you're working to build out contacts in a new industry.

Join groups related to your areas of career interest. Let your current network know of your interest in changing jobs (if you are in a position to do so). Remember, your existing contacts are a great place to start in order to build new ones. It’s like low-hanging fruit. Tap into the resources you have and build out from there. You’ll likely discover you have current friends and contacts who can put you in touch with others who may be useful in guiding you into your next role. 

Networking Letters

Most often, your friends, family members and professional contacts will be more than willing to support you as you work to meet people in a new industry, and transition your career. But they can't possibly do this if they have no idea what kind of help you need, or what types of people you'd like to meet.

This is where the networking letter comes in -- a friendly, concise letter sent out to your friends and professional contacts that spells out exactly what you want to do (often, even our close friends don’t really know what we do at work all day). In a networking letter, you can share what you want to do, what skills you want to put to use and -- if you know them -- some sample job titles that would align with what you're seeking.

In short, give people a concrete picture of what you're aiming for. And then follow it up with a direct, polite request for an introduction to anyone that they feel might be helpful to you in your search.

(And, of course, end this letter with an offer to return the favor if you may!)

Professional Associations

Just like a club but for adult professionals, a professional association is the perfect place to meet like-minded individuals in your field of interest (or, again, maybe your current field). They also typically provide plenty of opportunities to get involved in a group setting. (Read: Less scary or daunting than a one-on-one setting).

Not only is this a great way to make contacts, it also gives you access to a bunch of local people, which can be super helpful if you hope or plan to stay in our current area. Sure, your brother-in-law in Kansas who works in the field you're trying to break into is a great person to chat with, but local people may be your ticket into a specific organization in your own hometown.


Urban dwellers, you’re at an advantage here. At Meetup.com, you can find groups (of every flavor) meeting socially, or to discuss specific professional topics. These events tend to be easygoing in nature, which can be really helpful for anyone who may feel intimidated by the full-on professional events (e.g. conferences or association meetings).

Look for Meetups tied in some way to your specific industry or interests, and make an effort to attend and participate. Participating is crucial: you want to appear (right out of the gates) as someone who is passionate, enthusiastic and engaged in whatever field you're eyeing. This will make contacts more likely to remember you after the event, and (with luck) go out of their way to help you break into the field.

The Bottom Line

Wherever you are at professionally, and wherever you are attempting to go, the bottom line is this -- Fortune favors the bold. And, yes. It's often not what you know, it's who you know. This is not a platitude in many cases.

Given this, it will truly benefit you to go about establishing new connections in a relatively fearless, extroverted manner (even if you're a textbook introvert). Find a way that works for you, of course. But find a way. Job search is not the time to be shy and hold back with your networking. 

The good news? For every person who ignores you, you'll likely have at least three who don't. And one of those three? May be the linchpin to your future success.

So what do you have to lose?


Photo: Flickr.com Creative Commons (FelixTriller)

The (Only) 3 People You Should Ask to Review Your Resume

The following is a guest post by our summer intern, Darby Hennessey, a native Portlander and journalism student at the University of Mississippi. 

So, you did it: you finished your wonderful, eloquent, detailed-yet-concise resume draft that, surely, will be instrumental in your landing that next amazing job. 

There’s just one thing yet to do, to make sure your resume is truly as awesome as it can be: proofread and edit that baby.

Easy enough, right?

Just send a copy of your resume to everyone in your contact list, from mom to your old coworker from four years ago, asking for feedback.

Slow down there, champ. Chances are, you’re probably sending it to way too many people, which means that in a couple days, you’ll be deluged with corrections and advice, some of which may be contradictory or uninformed. The more pairs of eyes you have looking at your resume -- and the more people giving advice all at once -- the more confused or overwhelmed you’re likely going to become.

Does that mean you shouldn’t ask for input? Absolutely not. Getting people you know and trust to review your masterpiece will help take some bias out of your edits and may evoke ideas you hadn’t even considered. And, of course, there’s the issue of getting your resume through the scanning software (also known as an applicant tracking system). This is a skill in itself. You'll want to get feedback from someone who knows how they work, and can help you set up your resume in a way that plays nice with the ATS, so that you get a shot with the human decision makers.

So definitely get some input from others. Just limit the number of people you ask.

Instead of asking everyone and their brother for feedback, focus on these three people:

1. Someone who is a grammar wiz

Maybe it’s your copy editor sister-in-law, or maybe it’s  that one friend who corrects your grammar all. the. time (texts and social media posts included). Find someone who knows you well and can also weed out any accidental typos or stray commas. This way, you get the personal level feedback, while also getting those nitty-gritty technical edits out of the way.

Killing two birds with one stone. Double whammy. Whatever you want to call it, this person is a must. 

However, this reviewer (probably) can’t help you with edits that will help ensure your resume passes (successfully) through the applicant tracking system when you apply online. Unless he or she has experience or knowledge about the system, you won't likely find much counsel from your grammar wiz friend about this aspect of the process. 

2.  A recruiter or HR person

These are the reviewers who will likely know what’s what in terms of the resume scanning software, and can give very helpful input specific to what to put on your resume (or what not to include). They’re going to know how to evaluate the structure and format of your new resume, advise on its odds of passing through the applicant tracking software, and help you fix the "red flag" areas.

This is crucial. Getting past this software is paramount for every job seeker using online application processes as part of their job search. Most often -- especially with mid- to large-sized firms -- your resume won't get into the hands of an actual human until it passes successfully through the resume scanning software. 

Don’t be one of those applicants. Beat the system, and have a recruiter or HR friend help you edit your resume to passing glory. 

These people also often know what the hiring manager wants to hear and how hiring decisions are made, so they may also be able to give you guidance on how to captivate your target audience. They may even know the hiring manager to whom you’re sending your application to, and can help you target the resume to that specific individual or team.

And finally…

3. A hiring manager or executive leader

Often, this is they only type of person job seekers turn to for resume feedback or advice, and this can be a mistake. A hiring manager, executive, or other higher-up leader in an company or industry will, of course, be able to tell you what he or she is looking for in an applicant or what they like to see on a resume. A hiring manager can also likely share specifics on what makes a resume a standout and how you can make sure yours is one of them.

On the flip side -- and this is something a lot of people probably never consider -- hiring managers and executives often don't really know much about how the resume scanning software works. These players when they finally do see the resumes coming through, only see them after they pass through said software, which means you’re not likely to get helpful advice from them on how to get through the system in the first place. In fact, they may even encourage you to make edits that will make your resume less applicant tracking system-friendly. And that won't be a good thing.

So, you can see why it's important to have more than one person review and share feedback on your masterpiece. But be strategic about it, and specific.

Applying for jobs is already stressful, so you don’t need 10 different emails coming in telling you how to fix your resume. It’s overwhelming. It’s unnecessary.

And it could leave you more confused than at ease with your final product.

Pick your people wisely. Thank them profusely. And then?

Follow your gut on which edits to incorporate in that dazzling final product.


Photo: Flickr Creative Commons (Pete O'Shea)