Quick formatting tricks to keep your resume to one page!

Many students will come in to career coaching with a two page resume and no idea how to fix it.  Their first thought may be to eliminate some of their less business relevant experiences or pick and choose what they think is the most important to keep.  But I look at many resumes and contrary to popular belief, the second page can usually be avoided just by using some formatting tricks!  These are a few of the easiest formatting secrets to make sure your resume is one page and still full of your great experiences!


First things first, you do not have to conform to one inch margins like most of your school papers will require.  The margins can be much smaller, mine are at 0.5 all around.  I can’t tell you how much more room you gain for your accomplishments this way.  Sometimes a larger margin up top or around the sides can even give your resume the false illusion that you are missing something.

Font Sizes:

Fonts can be smaller than point 12 Times New Roman!  I know it goes against everything you have learned in English class, but I recommend having between 10 point and 12 point.  Any larger will probably be too big, and any smaller and the resume may look too busy and recruiters will have to squint to read it.  Making the font even a little bit smaller might make your two line bullet point into one line and give you the space you need.

Contact Information:

Keeping your contact information to one line helps so much.  A lot of students come in struggling to make room for all of their internships and activities, but I see that they have a permanent address, local address, and then two lines for email and phone. By containing all information to one line below the name, you save so much room! Why take up space for contact info when you could be highlighting on your newest internship that you are excited about?

High School Activities:

Once you have gotten involved in tons of new exciting organizations, clubs, and job opportunities in college, it is time to take off those high school activities and education!  This is a pivotal moment in your undergraduate college career, when you have so many cool college experiences that you don’t have room for high school clubs anymore on your 1 page resume.  Many students will at first be nervous about taking high school education or sports off of their resume, maybe because it was such a big part of their lives, but trust me, when you are running out of space on a resume, those things should usually be the first to go.  Granted there are exceptions to that rule, but for the most part, recruiters like to hear and see what you have been up to at OSU.

Transfer Credit: 

Transfer credit is also something that can be reformatted to fit the one page requirement.  Many students believe that you have to format your college transfer credit the same way as your OSU education section, but this is not the case.

If you have actually received a degree from the previous institution, you would want to format it that way, but if it is just transfer credit you might even confuse recruiters into thinking you have received a previous degree if you format it that way.  A better way is a quick bullet point explanation. This easily condenses your education section so you have more room for leadership, work, and extracurricular activities.

Need some help?

For additional tips and tricks when formatting your resume, see a career coach during walk-in hours: http://fisher.osu.edu/offices/career-management/student-resources/undergraduate/career-coaches/

Jill Spohn – Career Coach