Most of us consider a 2-page resume to be the standard, especially for executive-level job seekers with lengthy work histories (or slightly longer if you have extensive organizational and community leadership, publications, and speaking). However, a networking resume (sometimes termed a “sell sheet,” “marketing biography,” “speaker resume,” or “consultant resume” ) is a condensed version of your work history and value. A networking resume limits the length to 1-page as metrics and abbreviated work histories replace the lengthy job functions and descriptions.
If you’re a business owner, consultant, or keynote speaker, a 1-page networking resume can be a useful tool to synthesize your work history when applying for an award, speaking engagement, project bid, or entertaining a business meeting with a potential client. A networking resume is a more effective use of streamlining your work history into a condensed and abbreviated document without the need for extensive details. A networking resume can also be utilized for informational meetings when networking for a role – the full 2-page resume can be provided later when requested.
Here are key steps to writing an effective 1-page networking resume:
A typical executive resume will have a 2-3 sentence professional summary followed by a series of 4 to 5 bullet points of focused areas of expertise and value-add for clients. With only 5-7 seconds viewing time in the typical job search, an extended roadmap to the resume truly functions as a highlight into the executive’s career trajectory. However, it also takes up one-third of the first page, which is problematic if you’re trying to keep the resume to 1-page.
In a networking resume, you will focus on maintaining an abridged professional summary that’s 2-3 sentences and leave out the extended bullet points.
Expert Tip: Consider who your audience is. If the networking resume is going to be passed out to prospective clients and organizations for speaking and consulting opportunities, focus your skill set on the needs of the reader.
Abbreviated Work History
In stark contrast to the 4-6 bullet points of details per each role in an executive resume, the work history in a networking resume is extremely abbreviated. This is because the reader is not interested in learning about all of the intricate details of what the person did in each role. Additionally, there is no need to delve into the responsibilities and various achievements since the networking resume functions more as an overview of the person’s career trajectory. It’s not there to pass through an applicant tracking system and therefore keywords do not play as important of a role. Keep in mind that the networking resume is actually being handed off to a person so it’s being read by the human eye, thereby reducing the need for “keyword stuffing” that so many executive resumes focus on.
Expert Tip: Think about limiting your work history to the most recent 10 years as opposed to the full 15-20+ years. You can put a sentence in such as “Earlier career experience includes multiple roles in mechanical engineering.” A person can look to your LinkedIn profile for expanded details of your earlier career experience.
In the networking resume, select 3 to 4 big achievements to highlight from your career that can help you standout. The key achievements replace the elongated details of your abbreviated work history.
Expert Tip: Focus on metrics, key processes, and other value-adds that really help you to stand out in the role. Ask yourself, what would the targeted audience want to know about me? A speaker resume would want to focus on highlighting past speaking engagements.If you’re crafting a consultant resume, you can add in details of your key projects in your LinkedIn summary that you may want to highlight.
Consider including your degrees only, and not the details of your coursework, relevant honors, or key internships. Again, this is a 1-page networking resume, so space really matters.
Expert Tip: Your GPA or graduate school leadership/memberships are not important in a 1-page resume, unless the reader of your resume was also a Phi Beta Kappa. Keep those details for your elongated resume or LinkedIn profile. They can be great conversation pieces in a meeting.
You may also opt to turn your networking resume into a marketing biography or sell sheet which encompasses a 250-word bio with highlights and facets of your career. Think of the marketing biography or sell sheet as your networking resume and bio on steroids.