Keeping a Resume Concise

Keeping a Resume Concise

Once upon a time, you could formulate a single resume to send to all  companies or individuals that are seeking new employees with every expectation of getting a job.  Back then, you would try to fit as much as you can into that single document while struggling to maintain that golden rule of keeping it to one page, not including references.  Clearly, that was a time of anarchy.  Today, we write a different resume for every position if we are smart, tailoring each one to entice those seeking to hire.  Since they must go through so very many resumes in their tireless search, it behooves the job seeker-that’s you-to make your submission as concise as possible while providing these relevant points.

 

Consistent work history.

 

One of the first things hiring managers look at-providing relevant work experience can tell them about a lot beyond the mere period of time you spent working at a job.  It’s also the way to see, at-a-glance, how much time you spent at each job.  Short stints at various jobs may run you the risk of being considered a “job hopper”, while longer stints imply loyalty and commitment despite whatever challenged lead to you seeking a new position. Whether any promotions have been achieved during that time can indicate that you have the drive and necessary ambition for upward mobility in a competitive environment.

 

Don’t despair if you have been unemployed for a significant amount

of time provided you can account for that time in a way that seems valuable to prospective employers, such as volunteer work, or caring for an elderly or sick relative. It is most important to provide this information when it is in any way relevant to the job you are applying for. No matter the reason for periods of unemployment, employers want to know what you were doing during that time.  After all, people get laid off every day as the economy surges and falters, but it shows character to take advantage of that down time

 

Keep it simple

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Most prospective employers and hiring managers agree, less is more when it comes to resumes.  That is to say, the more complicated a document is, the longer it takes to slog through.  For a person who may be having to read dozens of resumes a day, if not hundreds, this can mean a more complex submission gets bypassed merely because it is too much work to read.  Let your skills and work record speak for themselves. Try to be clear and concise with each bullet-point, and don’t be extravagant with things like font style and paper grain.  Stick to the facts, what you have achieved and what you can bring with you to a company that ultimately hires you.

 

Show results.

 

It’s not enough to list an impressive skill set to entice employers to seek you out.  Everyone can say that they can integrate software systems to achieve a more efficient end, but what hirers want to see is that you have already done so, successfully.  Whatever your claim to “fame” is, be it a master salesman or an adroit deal-maker-be specific.  What hugs client did you land, or deal did you broker?  Have you ever won any awards for these skills?  THAT is the information employers are looking for.

 

Highlight “soft skills”

 

Soft skills include adjectives like “communication” and customer service” which have a very real value as fair as many job searches go but will stand out if included in the achievement section of your resume.  As with any skill you consider valuable to promote, using examples of successes you have already had with these skills is a better way to show your proficiency.  It isn’t enough to say that you can manage multiple teams on a project, but to say that you have already done so highlights the skill while also providing the result of that skill through experience. Spearheading projects also demonstrates critical thinking, problem-solving, and those communication skills.  Let employers know what you can handle by showing what you have already handled in the past.