Yeah, space and editing actually.
I know you have read all the “best resume” advice and “resume disaster” or the resume “dos and don’ts” articles on the internet. I’ve written a few of them myself. Many of you read and really try to follow the advice as best you can but some still think they are smarter than the professionals by insisting on having really long and crowded resumes.
I can’t believe that people still have 4, 5, 6 and even 7 page resumes which are ridiculous. Doesn’t matter if you have 30 years of experience of if you are applying for government jobs; that’s too much. You have to edit that and space it out a little bit more.
Not convinced? Think I don’t know what I’m talking about? Okay fine. Check out this article from HR Professional and Career Expert Alison Doyle on About.com “How to Space Your Resume” – the very 1st sentence reads, “Leaving blank space on your resume creates an uncluttered document that is visually pleasing to employers.” This true, if a resume is packed with thousands of words, running over multiple pages its just like looking at a bound of snow – no only wants to shovel through that. No one has time for that. You get seconds to make an impression – anywhere 6 to 20 seconds and if you are sending out big overblown resumes, your phone will ring less and less.
Here’s another one from Kathleen Taylor-Gadsby on KTG Leadership Solutions website “Your Resume – Making A Great First Impression”. Paragraph number 3 begins “Is there enough white space on the page?…” The short answer is, probably not. We love to tell people everything we’ve ever done even down to the minutia of details, which leaves nothing to discuss in the interview – it’s called a talking point. You want the hiring team to read your resume and say, “Wow that looks interesting, I wonder how they did that? I want to hear more” versus “Wow, how did they do that, oh wait, here it is on the 2nd sentence. Now I don’t need to interview them, I have all I need.”
So what I’m not going to do is overstate the case and beat you to death with the message because that’s what you are doing with a long bloated resume.
- Don’t stretch out the margins of your resume
- Don’t load it up with an Objective Statement, Summary of Qualifications, Core Competencies and Strengths section
- Don’t write paragraph style job duties and accomplishments on your resume (see uncluttered document resume tip above)
- Don’t add references automatically to your resume
- Don’t do it yourself, it’s too much for you to handle
In closing, ask yourself, if this was not your resume would you take time to read the entire thing? And if you are honest the answer is “no”. Resumes are confusing and it’s hard to develop your story so get some help – there is no shortage of resume writers and career assistance resources available to you.
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