If your resume isn’t a single page, don’t bother sending it

About two weeks ago (closer to a few months now — this lived a whole lifetime as a draft), I posted on Twitter and on Facebook about how there is absolutely no reason for your resume to be longer than a single page if you've worked for 10 years or less. The post drew significant debate and discussion, and this is something I feel quite strongly about, so I decided to pen my views down.

Another trigger that made me pen this down was that I've been actively helping startups hire through building and sharing a curated list of candidates (read this). And the sheer number of multi-page resumes I come across is worrying, if nothing else.

Purpose of a resume

Ask yourself, 'What purpose does it serve?' The way I see it, only one: To get you an opportunity to interview.

Not to tell people you won a race in Standard III. It is NOT your ego massage central — please don't treat it as such. As you grow, a lot of your older accomplishments have little meaning if any at all. Let them go.

Wear the recruiter hat

If you've been at a stage where you've been actively hiring yourself, this should come more easily: For a minute, wear the recruiter hat for a particular vacancy.

This is a tad worse when the person skimming is HR and not from the functional team who you're going to be working with/for.

Resume vs. CV vs. bio vs. portfolio

Technically, these mean entirely different things, yes. In most contexts however, résumé and CV are used interchangeably. Here's how I'd look at these:

  • Resume / CV: Single-page document, bullet points, summary of experiences professional and academic, hints at personality traits through sharing positions and responsibilities, philanthropic work, interests.
  • Bio: One or two paragraphs of simple text that are a good summary of you and your key skills sets and expertise.
  • Portfolio: More relevant for certain individuals (designers, architects, artists, musicians), this to me is a document capturing the best work you've done so far.

Examples of great single-pager resumes

I thought it might help if I included a few good sample one pager resumes to look at, for reference, including Elon Musk, Hilary Clinton, Marissa Mayer and Kris Nair.

Here's mine as well, albeit a tad dated, but also because it may be a tad more relateable.


Yes, you're God's greatest gift to mankind.

You needn't prove that on your resume. Just get the damn interview.

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