Slow Down Baby, Save Some for the Interview

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All too often I see one or two things when it comes to resumes – either it’s too much information or too little – usually it’s the former. Overcrowded resumes with run-on sentences and big meaningless words that overstate the facts with words that are all crammed together to give the appearance of accomplishment and importance don’t help you get to interviewer’s table.

The relationship between resumes, interviews and job offers are kind of like the dating game. Yes the dating game, sometimes you meet someone who is too eager to prove that they’re the one for you. They overshare – give you too much too soon. They end up going too far and end up turning you off. I believe the term is T.M.I. (too much information).

This same thing can happen with resumes and cover letters. We all want to be wanted and show what we have accomplished and can do on our resumes.  However, by stretching out the margins on your resume and adding a lot of words – compound and run on sentences –you end up giving the screener too much information and that’s not good.

Here’s why over sharing can hurt you.

  1. By giving way too much information you are decreasing the chances of your resume even getting read or scanned. Recruiters and hiring authorities don’t have time to read thousands of “inflated” words.
  2. By oversharing you also reduce the probability of getting an interview.  On the off chance someone takes the time to actually read it, they have all the information they need to make decision about you. There’s no need to call you for an interview because it’s all there on the resume.

It’s okay to have negative space on your resume; it gives the reader’s eyes a place to rest. Learn how to say the most by using a fewer words. The problem most of the time is adjectives, such as “exceptional”, “excellent” or adverbs like “successfully”.

And there are those run-on sentences which express two or sometimes three independent thoughts which really should be separate line items.

Instead of saying “Successfully completed a project that lead to a rise in revenue by using social media to find new customers to use and purchase products that resulted in meeting fourth quarter sales goals.”

How about this instead “Increased revenue by implementing a social media strategy developing new territories.” Separate line item; “Achieved fourth quarter sales goals by expanding the customer base.”

Resist the urge to over populate your resume and cover letter with unnecessary words and run-on sentences. It may make you feel good about yourself but it doesn’t help your chances of getting seen. Slow it down, scale it back, apply the lean process save some conversation and questions for the interview.

 

**chris@costofwork.com**

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