5 Tips to Keep Your Resume Short and Relevant

cutAs a young professional, a concise resume full of relevant content is crucial.

“Focus on communicating how what you possess meets my needs instead of focusing on how pretty your resume is or whether you have two bullet points or a dozen,” says Alan Guinn, managing director at The Guinn Consultancy Group.

To help keep your resume both short and relevant to the employers needs, here are five helpful tips:

1. Remove Generic Self-Descriptors

First, remove for any generic words used to describe yourself like “dynamic”. Then, delete filler words like “strong work ethic” and “detail oriented”.

Everyone says that about themselves,” says Joseph Terach of Resume Deli. “If you to communicate want you’re detail-oriented, then make very sure your resume is error-free.”

Listing detail oriented does nothing for your resume… while proving yourself wrong results in a terrible first impression.

2. Delete Irrelevant Experience

Each resume should be tailored to your desired position. Ask yourself: “Does your reader need to know about the four-month job you held in 2003?” Terach says.

Clear out any irrelevant experience you have in your resume. “Or at least minimize them so they don’t become a distraction for the reader,” he adds.

3. Remove Simple, Common Skills

Only include vital skills from the job description or company website that managers are specifically searching for.

“If it’s obvious that you use MS Office software in your job (e.g. your experience section already mentions use of spreadsheets; scheduling meetings; designing slides), there’s no reason to list the basic Word, Excel, etc. in your skills section,” Terach says.

4. Use Smart Formatting

Choose smaller fonts that read well. According to Terach, that Calibri and Arial read well in just a 9.5 font size, taking up less space.

“You can also get away with smaller top-bottom margins than left-right margins (your page keeps better perspectives,” he says. But beware: “If you shrink your margins too small and MS Word will force your reader to resize them before printing. Not cool. You don’t want to give your reader a work assignment just to be able to print and share your document.”

Before sending your resume to employers, send a test copy to yourself to make sure there are no formatting problems.

5. Consider Two Key Bullet Points

You can make a big punch per position with just two key bullet points. Artie Lynnworth, author of life-lessons from his 40-year career in corporate leadership, calls them “couplets.”

“A couplet is simply a combination of a key skill with a key result,” he says. “For example, creative marketing strategy [the skill] enabled a 15% growth of product sales in the first year, and a 10% per year growth during the next three years [the result].”

Longer work periods call for a few more couplets, he says. But this is a great guideline to follow to keep things concise and powerful.

By leveraging these five tips, your resume will not only be short, it will be scan-able and relevant setting you apart from all other applicants for that same position.

Take a look at your resume. Where can you be more concise?





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RitikaAbout the Author: Ritika Trikha is passionate about scoping out top-notch job advice in the career-sphere to help you find a job you love. Ritika has 99 problems but an unhappy career isn’t one! She’s a writer and an optimist (and Jay Z’s No. 1 fan). When Ritika’s not writing stellar advice articles, she’s obsessing over social media. Connect with her via CareerBliss Tumblr, Pinterest and Google+! And follow Ritika on Twitter!


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