How to Fit Too Much Experience on a One Page Resume

We like to believe that it’s an absolute impossibility to condense all of our great knowledge, skills and abilities. We think that if we condense, we’re omitting. If we remove, it’ll be lost.

What if I told you that there’s a way to include every single detail, task and accomplishment? What if I said that decades of experience can in fact be delivered effectively in a one page resume? Well I have GREAT news for you today because it absolutely can! Let’s walk through how.

The Professional Summary or Statement

Here is where you make your declaration to the employer. It’s here where you not only walk them through your years of activity but you capture their undivided attention. Their focus is on these brief 3-5 sentences. Use this space to not only key word optimize in agreement with the job description but highlight your years of service (For thirty-five years I have operated in an administrative capacity…). Use this space to showcase the numerous awards and promotions earned (while transitioning from an Entry-level Administrative Assistant to an Executive Assistant serving the Vice President of Operations…).  

Then close this section with what we formally know as the “objective” but give it a twist. Make it declarative and again, use the job description as your guide (I intend to bring thirty-five years of administrative savvy, scheduling creativity and professional courtesy to ABC Company as the Executive Assistant to the 1st Vice President…).

The Core Competencies (skills)

Here is where you share those duties that have been performed in every position with a slight twist. Typing, scheduling, answering phones and copying can be summed up into a phrase, “Functional Administrative Expertise” or “Office Management”. It’s in this area that you also overwhelm the resume with exact, key phrases of skills listed in the job description.

Be mindful not to add phrases that are not supported by your Professional Experience because you will be asked for examples of a time when you performed these functions. It’s very important to demonstrate your integrity through your resume so be honest but do not be modest. If you did it, state it! Rephrase it and add it to the list.

The Professional Experience (work history)

This is the meat and potatoes of the resume. This is where we typically cut and paste the same phrase and fragments from each occupation because we think that this repetition shows our level of expertise.  That is an incorrect assumption. It shows a lack of care and it negatively fills space. Instead, let’s use the neatly bullet pointed list to qualify our success in these positions. Identified and addressed typographical memo errors by proofing meeting minutes prior to sending, reducing the share of incorrect information by 35%. This statement shows an attention to detail, pride in work and added value.

The position may be administrative but it’s important. We sometimes minimize our routine duties because we don’t see the big picture while over emphasizing other things because we don’t think that we have enough quality experience. This area is used to support and validate the skills shared in the Core Competencies section and Professional Summary. Use it wisely!

About the author

Catherine McNeil has earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a focus in Management from Robert Morris College and holds a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She excels at new employee training, instruction, supervision and job knowledge in the areas of Customer Service, Leadership, and Administration. She has over fifteen years of experience and applied knowledge from management and leadership roles inside the Collections, Not for Profit, Real Estate and Construction arenas.

Catherine McNeil

Catherine McNeil has earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a focus in Management from Robert Morris College and holds a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She excels at new employee training, instruction, supervision and job knowledge in the areas of Customer Service, Leadership, and Administration. She has over fifteen years of experience and applied knowledge from management and leadership roles inside the Collections, Not for Profit, Real Estate and Construction arenas.