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One page resumes are a waste of paper

The rise of the Internet gives job-seekers a much wider range of options in telling employers who they are.
A job seeker awaits an interview (Pexels)
A job seeker awaits an interview (Pexels)

Whilst it is the culture in Israel to write a one page resume, I have openly stated for many years that the one page resume is a complete waste of time! No one – especially the candidate does not win in this situation.

Let me explain:

The applicant has next to no space to include relevant information (especially if you have many years of experience) and the reader is looking for either very specific key words/phrases or company names. So if you are not a direct match to what the reader is seeking then you are most likely to miss out on gaining an interview. Not only does the candidate miss out on a potential opportunity but companies also miss out on applicants who could potentially bring more than the basics.

In other countries like Australia, we expect to see more details about your experience. We want to see not only what you are expected to do in your job but what you have achieved. From this we are able to see the additional skills and attributes that you could potentially bring with you. And in some cases, these may be even more valuable than the original desired list of skills and experiences listed on a job advert. For this reason, it is acceptable to submit a resume of up to three pages. However, the last thing any reader of resume wants is to see is pages of useless information so ensure that your resume is full of content that is relevant, valuable and communicated in a succinct way.

The origin of the one page resume:

fax-machine-resumePrior to the internet, the method most used by job applicants for submitting their job application was by regular mail! Yes the postal service. If people wanted to get their resume to the hiring company or recruitment agency even faster, they used a fax machine! Most of the people reading this blog wouldn’t have much experience with a fax and are laughing at the thought (if they can even fathom what this device looks like and how it works).

Back in those days, if you were not in possession of a fax machine (which the majority of people would not), you would go down to your local post office and pay per sheet for your fax to be sent. So there you have it – the one page resume was a direct result of people having to pay per page of their resume to be sent via a fax. And it wasn’t cheap either.

Why do some countries still use one page resumes?

With the ability to email people within seconds at next to no cost, why then do some countries maintain adherence to the 1 page resume? Culture – changing cultural attitudes can take more than years but even generations and when you are trying to retrain an entire nation it is most difficult but the times they are changing (although slowly).

The future of resumes

As technology advances and our adoption of it becomes the norm, so does our ability to adapt to change. The advent of the sites such as LinkedIn, allow people to network for jobs in ways that traditional resumes could never allow. LinkedIn is a perfect example of how an individual can include much more information than what they would provide on their 1 page resume and yet this is considered not just acceptable but the norm.

Advice for writing a suitable resume

Whilst I personally feel that the one page resume is completely useless, its existence is far from over. What a job applicant needs to understand is who is the reader, what are their expectations and how to get around the resume length limitations.

Here are some tips

  1. If you unsure of the style and length of resumes in a particular country do some research on the net (or even call a local recruiter and ask them what they expect) – this is especially important for Oleh Chadash;
  2. Tailor the length and language to match the local expectations;
  3. Ensure that your resume and cover letter are key word optimised – this means being key word appropriate and dense;
  4. Include in your resume a link to your LinkedIn profile where the reader can find additional information; and
  5. If you are still unsure, seek help from a professional resume writer.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the one page resume so please comment below.

For more great useful tips check out & share our blog as well as

For a one-off free review of your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile, please email me at Graeme@summitresumes.com.au

About the Author
Graeme Gilovitz has over 15 years Recruitment Industry experience & is a Director of SummitResumes, a job application specialist. Previously he was a Director of Summit Talent (a boutique Australian based recruitment agency with an international reach & client base) & has also worked in-house with some of Australia's largest companies. With a background in advertising & marketing prior to recruitment, Graeme possesses a unique perspective on communication, the recruitment process & how to ensure that you get the most out of your job search and applications.
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