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These days, the golden rule is to try to keep your resume to two pages or less. One page is ideal unless you are a manager with decades of experiance.
If you are struggling to follow this rule and shorten your resume, a great way to do that is by re-reading your resume and cutting down your text to eliminate unnecessary job description and excessive verbiage.
Here's what to look for:
Trivial Job Tasks
This is perhaps the easiest text to cut. Most jobs have trivial tasks involved which do not need to be listed in the job description.
For instance, if you're a graphic designer, employers take it as written that you'll know how to print out your own work and purchase new printing supplies and paper. Listing these tasks wastes valuable resume real estate, as well as hijacking space that would be better put to use listing real achievements that will set you apart from the crowd.
If you've listed any trivial tasks like these, get rid of them right away:
- Restocked office supplies
- Tidied office, took out the trash each night
- Refilled coffee machine on a daily basis
- Kept my workstation clean and tidy
- Keyholder responsible for opening up office every day
Basic Computer Skills
If you're applying for any IT or tech-based job, it is assumed that you have basic computer skills. Listing every single program you know how to use - especially those not related to the job you are applying for - creates unnecessary clutter that is annoying for the hiring manager to plow through.
- Troubleshooting Windows issues (unless you have advanced Geek Squad skills)
- Creating documents in Microsoft Word and Notepad
- Daily use of printer and associated software
- PC literate (if you are Mac AND PC literate, list that. If you only know one system then it's not worth listing).
Are you guilty of writing the next War and Peace when a short amount of text would suffice? Follow these 3 rules to shorten your resume naturally:
- Too many 'Ands' in a sentence. Each sentence should only contain one or two 'ands' or else things get confusing. Break up sentences with excessive 'and' usage with full stops and semi-colons. For instance: "My job duties included creating purchase orders and website templates, and also writing and printing brand mockups" should be edited to: "My job duties included creating purchase orders and website templates. I also wrote and printed brand mockups."
- It is far better to write about your achievements in the position, rather than listing every tedious task you performed. For example, if you're a janitor, write: "Improved upon previous standards of cleanliness by cleaning restrooms every hour, exceeding to the previous year's requirement to clean restrooms twice daily." This is better than "Cleaned restrooms hourly. Took out trash. Scrubbed floors. Refilled soap dispensers."
- Eliminate overly descriptive words and phrases. You're not writing a novel here, so unless you're applying to be a writer in a fiction department, your resume should avoid overly colorful job descriptions. For example: "Java Programmer, responsible for coloring the digital space on the Interwebs with melodious cascades of code."
Tune in next Tuesday for more resume tips on CareerBliss.com. Same time, same place!