My Resume is Too Long! What Can I Do?

by Jul 13, 2018

Everyone knows the cardinal rule of resumes: keep it to one page.

Even recent grads with little or no professional experience can find this to be a challenge. Hopefully, there’s a lot you want to add to show what you’re capable of and what you’ve done before. However, resumes with more than one page (two max!) are much less likely to be viewed in full by recruiters and hiring managers.

So how do you decide what stays and what goes, and also how to parse down what stays to maximize that one page? Jane Burnett, one of our favorite contributors to Ladders, has a four step process to make your resume shine, even with just one page of space.

  • Remove positions from long ago, especially if they’re not relevant: It’s a common misconception that you have to list every job you’ve ever had on your resume. Get rid of the old jobs that don’t really add much for the position you’re applying for. Especially if you’ve been out of college/school for more than three or so years, get rid of your work-study positions.
  • Carefully choose your wording: Your bullet points should be articulate, but there’s no reason to use flowery language or let them ramble on. They should also never be more than two lines long. Even two-line bullet points should really be left to a minimum.
  • Remove your references: This is unnecessary, and so is “References available on request”. It should be assumed that if you’re job hunting, you have references for potential employers to reach out to. When and if the time comes for you to advance to the phone screen or interview phase, you can furnish your references in a separate document.
  • Choose the right examples: You want to pick bullet points that make sense for the job you’re applying for. Be sure to pick things that will highlight things you’ve already done that are relevant to the job, and get rid of ones that aren’t going to help you.

With that knowledge, parsing down your resume should come a little bit easier. It’s also important to remember that different types of jobs require different types of resumes. As a rule, every resume you submit should be tailored to the job you’re applying for.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

 

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