fbpx Skip to Content

“My Resume Is Too Short” — Do THIS!

“My Resume Is Too Short” — Do THIS!

Sharing is caring!

Writing a resume can be a daunting task for high-schoolers, new graduates, or those changing career fields. Sometimes there seems to be too much blank space no matter how hard you try.

Let’s check into some tips to get your resume filled out and impressive enough to land that job!

There are many different experiences that can be included on a resume that’s too short that aren’t thought of as traditional “jobs”. You can also add new sections such as a summary, volunteering, awards, or even a references section. Always be careful not to add anything irrelevant or trivial.

All our life experiences have led us to be the people who we are today. If you feel like you have nothing to put on your resume, think again.

Even high school students with little working experience can have a well-written resume, it’s just a matter of understanding what skills you already possess. 


Let’s talk about resume length

The biggest rule to resume length is that you should not go over two pages in length.

Employers have little time to be reading over resumes, so they are not going to bother with one that requires too much reading. 

Resumes shorter than a page are typically discarded as well because the applicant couldn’t even think of enough experiences or skills to fill the entire page. 

Stick to 1-2 pages on your resume, and you’ll be in the clear.

If you do go over a page, try to have at least half of the second page filled.

Having only a paragraph of information on the second page makes a resume look unfinished and should be avoided.  

Should you print your resume on both sides to avoid this rule? Absolutely not. Always print a resume on two separate sheets of paper, or a single piece in the case of a single-page resume.


Adding different types of experience on a resume 

The experience section on a resume is traditionally for the most recent jobs held. However, for those with little experience, other types of things can be put in this section.

Volunteering, internships, research, and even babysitting can be included! Try to keep it relevant and impressive if possible.

What counts as work experience on a resume? This is the first question you should ask yourself when trying to fill out a resume. The experience section should always be filled out, even if the jobs are not traditional jobs, or even in the case of those who have never held a job.

Volunteering is often job-like in nature, as you must complete tasks according to assigned instructions in order to achieve a goal. Does volunteering count as work experience on a resume? The answer is yes! 

Work done for community projects, animal shelters, soup kitchens, tutoring, and many other types of volunteering can be included on a resume. Check out how to include volunteering on a resume for the best ways to use these experiences to lengthen your resume.

Internship on a resume – work or not? Internships are another great experience to include in this section, as it is basically work done as a “trial” to see if you are fit for the work, and that you enjoy the job enough to want to pursue it as a career. 

Internships can be formatted in the exact same way that regular jobs would be. You do not even need to specify that it was an internship unless the duration was so short that you need to clarify the reason. 

Listing an unpaid internship on your resume works in the same way as a paid one, so you can use the same formatting in order to fill the space in your experience section. 


Using different font types and sizes to fill blank space on a resume

Resumes need to follow certain rules regarding font type and size, otherwise they come across as unprofessional.

If you are truly at a loss of how to fill space efficiently on a resume, however, you might try changing the default font to something larger and more suitable.

The best resume fonts to use are Times New Roman, Cambria, Georgia, and Calibri.

Out of these, Georgia is just slightly larger than the rest, making it a good trick to helping your resume reach the one-page length minimum.

Size 11 is the recommended font size for a resume, though up to size 12 is acceptable.

You do not want it to be blatantly obvious that you are manipulating the font to expand your resume length, so be careful when utilizing this technique. 

Section headers should be a bit larger than the body text on a resume, so you can enlarge these if they aren’t already.

The contact information section at the top does not follow the same rules as the body either, so you could get away with making your name or phone number a bit larger as well.

Including skills and experiences is always a better option to fill out a resume when possible, but adjusting your font is a good trick in a pinch.


Using more bullet points on a resume

Bullet points are an excellent way to fill space on a resume, as each one takes up an entire line.

If you do not have many experiences to include, you may use slightly more bullet points than usual.

You should not go over four bullet points with any experience, however.

Bullet points are used in two main sections on a resume: the work experience and the skills sections.

Even if the bullet point is only a few words, it will still take an entire line on the resume.

For this reason, bullet points can be useful when not overused.

How many bullet points should you use per job is typically 2-3. If you have very few experiences to include, you can push this limit and include four bullet points.

Try to come up with as many impressive skills and responsibilities you could include for each job, then write in the most relevant ones.

For the skills section, you should keep your skills to a maximum of five lines.

Having five lines containing 2-3 words each looks rather bare, however, so try to flesh these out into more descriptive sentences when possible. 

A single bullet point should not typically go over one line either, so try to keep it within the constraints of a single line, but a bit longer than a few words.

Utilizing the maximum of five lines in the skills section will fill out a good portion of a resume, so use them well! 


Including a references section on a resume

References are not generally recommended to be on a resume unless asked for.

For those with little working experience, however, this section may be added in order to fill blank space.

Include the section with three references, preferably from those outside of your immediate family.

References can make an inexperienced person seem more trustworthy!

Reference sections should always contain three references unless more are specifically asked for. Any fewer, and it makes the section look too bare to be worth including. 

Each of the three references should only take up a single line. Including the section header and the line separating it equates to five lines filled once completed!

Try to use references who know you and your work ethic well, even if they aren’t professional references.

Include the first and last name of each reference, their company/job, their relationship to you (manager, advisor, teacher), and their phone number. E-mail is acceptable when phone numbers are not available, but phone numbers are always best.

Be sure to ask each reference beforehand if it is alright to add them, as it is considered extremely rude to do so without permission.

A call from a potential employer could also catch them off-guard, leading to a less than stellar review.


Including a summary on a resume

A summary is a section near the top of a resume where one summarizes their skills, experiences, and goals in a full-sentence paragraph.

Including a summary is a great way to fill in a blank resume, but you must not write meaningless things. It will be read first, so use your words wisely.

If your resume is too short to begin with, then it might be difficult to write out a summary of your experiences and skills.

However, there are some special circumstances where you can use a summary to add some additional information that isn’t in your resume already.

Should you put a summary on your resume? For inexperienced workers, the summary section can be a great way to explain your current situation in a bit more detail. For example, sentences such as the following:

  • “A hard-working student at Bradsworth University looking to take up a part-time job on weekends”
  • “An experienced dog-walker with over 2 years of experience currently attending Georgia High School.” 
  • “Currently seeking an entry-level position in the customer service field after having graduated in May 2018.”

Once more professional experience has been acquired, be sure to re-write your summary section to reflect those skills and achievements instead.


Including an awards section on a resume

An awards section can include many different things including school awards, work awards, online achievements, or records from other places. Each award should take up a single bulleted line in this section, with no more than five lines listed.

School awards are examples of how to make a resume if you never had a job as these are great ways to fill in space on a resume. These show that a student was dedicated in a certain area and was recognized for it. 

Awards for things such as math league, honors, literary achievements, sports or club competitions, and many others can prove that this student has gone above and beyond.

Employers want to see applicants with a well-rounded history, and including an awards section will allow you to showcase this.


Resume writing tips for students whose resumes are too short

Many students lack working experience, therefore their resumes should include various achievements that wouldn’t be on an experienced person’s resume.

Students should include GPA or SAT scores, club achievements, extra-curricular work, tutoring, or babysitting to fill out their resumes.

Working professionals should leave their high school and university achievements at the door.

These things should only be included on a resume if there is nothing else that they can write instead, as these things lose their value once professional experience has been gained. 

GPA scores on a resume can be a way to show an employer that you are hard-working, can understand instructions, and are intelligent.

SAT scores can show this as well, especially for high-school students where GPAs aren’t always given. 

How to include SAT scores on a resume and how to include GPA scores follows the same set of basic rules. They should only be included by those still in school or very newly graduated.

These are most typically placed in the accomplishments, achievements, or awards sections.

Academic achievements which placed in one of those three sections and are most often listed with bullet points. Do not use more than one sentence for each point, as each of these are meant to be brief. 

By using bullet points, you can also fill more space on a resume than a paragraph would!

Periods with bullet points do not need to be used, though if you wish to, just make sure you follow the same format with every bullet point listed in your resume.  

Babysitting is another thing that many students have experience with, and it definitely comes with a lot of responsibilities.

Is babysitting work experience on a resume? Without a doubt, this is good experience that can be included on a student’s resume. 

Babysitting is usually a paid task (though it can be listed even if unpaid) where one must follow instructions and complete the job according to instructions.

Students can easily list their responsibilities in the work experience section for babysitting, making this a great paragraph to fill out space on a resume!