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How to Shorten a Resume for Maximum Results


12/15/2011 2:19:34 PM

3 Things Interviewers Look For on a Resume By Anish Majumdar, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
Expert Strategies to Control Resume Length, Highlight Key Skills and Accomplishments, and Adhere to Recruiter/hiring Agent Preferences

Presenting the hiring agents/managers with a long resume is one of the most common mistakes that can land your resume in the trash. However, it is one problem that can easily be fixed. A 1-2 page resume is really the appropriate length for more than 98% of job seekers today. It provides readability and that much needed pertinent information. If you are not a distinguished executive or top leader in the industry then anything longer than three pages could break the deal. So, what exactly do you remove from your resume and what should you keep? Before you start chipping away at the stone you should first realize that actually makes it effective in the first place.

A resume is not meant to be comprehensive but more of a look into what you have accomplished and where you have worked. There is no possible way that you can provide every aspect and detail of every job that you have had in just 1-2 pages. You should be selective and provide just enough information, and the right kind of information, in order to get your point across and draw attention to your skills and accomplishments.

Keep Opening Sections To A Minimum

The opening statement of your resume, in order to be effective, is usually very brief, perhaps a paragraph, that highlights 3-4 of your skills. This should be relevant to the type of job you are applying for and it should be followed by a "Core Competencies" section. Do not try to fill the resume with every skill you have. You should remember that the point of the opening statement is to create a point of entry so that the reader becomes engaged and continues to read on into the work history. Only stress skills which can easily be referenced.

Focus on Jobs Held Within a 10-12 Year Period

Most job recruiters are concerned with your more recent work. Those that take that into consideration are more likely to have a better chance of gaining the readers attention right from the start. Your greatest emphasis should be on jobs held within a 10-12 year period and then you should consolidate the rest. This can be placed in the "Additional Experience" section with just a few key points to highlight each job. The only exception to the rule is if you've had relevant jobs that stretch back much further than a 12-year span. You should ask yourself if your resume would improve with this added information or not. If it isn't then you should simply leave it out!

Keep Closing Sections Along the Same Lines as Your Target

Job searchers who spent a lot of their working years in various industries may have gained some advanced training credits and certifications that may not necessarily be relevant to the current job you are applying for. This will not necessarily make those reviewing the resume think you are a "go-getter" but rather a bit confused. Stick only with the credits that are relevant to the current job you are applying for.

Check out the latest Career Insider eNewsletter - December 22, 2011.

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