According to a CareerBuilder survey, one in six hiring managers spend 30 seconds or less reviewing resumes. So when we write our resumes, there is intense pressure to “sound good.”
We use big or fancy words that will make their resume sound professional and well-written. We fill the resume with buzzwords and cliches. And we use way too many words to say what only a few will do. Unfortunately, this approach can alienate the recruiter we are trying so hard to impress!
As employers sift through resumes, they don’t have time for wordy and fluffy applications. The want to get down to the core of your qualifications so they can determine whether or not they should call you for an interview.
A recruiter wants one thing: they want you to be concise.
To help you write a clear and concise resume that will get read by recruiters, here are some helpful tips to follow:
Include Relevant Experience Only
When you apply for a job, employers want to know why you are qualified for the position. Hiring managers want to read about your experience and skills that are relevant to the position you’re applying for and how those qualifications make you the best fit for the organization.
To make sure your resume is up to par for your job application, spend some time customizing your resume to the job description. Even if you have a variety of experience with different jobs and employers, only include the best experience you have that relates to the job you’re applying for. By tailoring your resume to each job application, you will catch the employer’s attention.
Use the Best Words for a Resume
When writing a stellar resume, there are certain words and phrases hiring managers like to read. If you want to stand out to employers as they quickly scan your resume, consider using some of the following terms:
- Under budget
Avoid the Worst Words for a Resume
There are also some words you should definitely avoid at all cost when writing your resume. The last thing hiring managers want to read is a resume filled with fluff and cliches. To make sure you’re heading down the right track with your resume, here are some resume buzzwords to avoid:
- Think outside of the box
- Team player
- Go-to person
- Hard worker
It can be challenging to think of creative ways to write boring job descriptions for your past experience. Many job seekers often fall into the trap of using redundant phrases and words when writing their resume because they are focused on spicing up their boring jobs rather than illustrating their accomplishments.
To remove redundancy from your resume, be aware of the phrases, adjectives, and verbs you use. For example, don’t say “I’m seeking job” in your resume because the employer already knows you’re looking for a job, hence your job application.
Remove Articles and Helping Verbs
To tighten up your resume, watch for helping verbs such as “have,” “had,” “may,” and “to be” and articles such as “a,” “an,” and “the.” Believe it or not, these words can add a great amount of fluff to your resume and slow down the reader.
For example, the use of helping verbs makes this phrase too wordy: “Managed a team of sales associates in order to help them achieve quarterly goals.” Instead, you can tighten up the phrase like this: “Managed sales team to help accomplish quarterly goals.” (If you can include the specific goal numbers, even better!)
Watch for Vagueness
Although it’s difficult to write about your experience, you must be very precise when explaining what your accomplished during each job or internship.
For example, if you’re writing a description for a clerical position and said something like “I assisted with paperwork,” this doesn’t tell the hiring manager anything about what you did or accomplished at that job. Instead, you could write “Assisted with clerical duties including database entry, paperwork filing, and answering phones.” This gives the hiring manager a more detailed description of what you performed during your last job.
Read Your Resume Out Loud
The best way to ensure your resume is clear and concise? Proofread it aloud.
This will help you catch and grammar or spelling errors, as well as pay attention to phrasing. Your resume should flow together and be easily read. If you find yourself stumbling over a part of your resume, go back and figure out how you can reword it to make it more concise.
Writing a concise resume takes a lot of practice and patience. However, if you master these tips and you’re diligent during the editing process, you’ll write a resume that will definitely get read!
About the Author: Olivia Adams is the Brand Manager at Come Recommended. She is a graduate of Ferris State University with a B.S. in public relations. Olivia has experience in content marketing, writing, social media, branding, and public relations.