Is the size and length of your resume starting to get away from you? Do readers swear under their breath when they first see it? Do you have scissors in hand but don't know where to cut? If so, read on...
1. Leave out headings like "Work History" or "Education." The reader has likely read thousands of resumes before - they'll understand what each section is when they see it. No need to waste valuable space with unnecessary headings. (You can also leave out sub-headings under each job, like "Achievements," if it's obvious to the reader.)
2. If you feel the summary/profile is too long, trim it down to the bare essentials. Don't waste space talking about how talented you believe you are - instead, actually summarize your experience and other qualifications. You can often get away with just a bold headline or tagline rather than a full paragraph.
3. Leave out long lists of skills or core competencies. I routinely see resumes that have lists of skills that take up half a page or more in the most valuable real estate on the resume. It doesn't mean much to tell the reader that you believe you're good at something. Instead, use achievements to show what you're good at.
4. Don't list your achievements before your work history, unless you're showcasing a few top achievements in your profile. An extra "Accomplishments" section is unnecessary - include them within your work history instead. If you list them before your experience section, it's confusing for the reader because at that point they don't even know where you worked or what positions you've held. Don't put the cart before the horse.
5. Don't repeat the same company name over and over if you held different positions with them or worked in different locations. It's repetitive and, at a glance, it will also make it look like you've held a lot of jobs. Instead, make the company name stand out at the top and then list different positions/locations with separate dates below.
6. Leave out duties and responsibilities. If your intended audience will already have a basic understanding of what you, as a store manager, were responsible for, don't waste space telling them that you hired and trained staff, managed sales and operations, controlled inventory, etc. There's little value there.
7. Leave out work experience from more than 20 years ago. Showing outdated experience on your resume is not only irrelevant, it increases the risk of age discrimination. Most people should stick to the last 15-20 years.
8. Don't use different "sections" for academic education, certifications, and professional development - they can usually be combined together. Also, don't include irrelevant certifications or professional development that add no value to your overall qualifications.
9. Leave out computer & technical skills unless they are specialized and important to the job you're applying for. Most people don't need to show Microsoft Word on their resume. It's likely assumed that you can use it.
10. Leave out references and their contact information. They don't belong on a resume. (LinkedIn recommendations or quotes from a reference letter are a different story, however.)
Simplifying your resume allows the reader to more easily get to the heart of the matter - why you're an outstanding candidate for the job. Bogging down the process with roadblocks will only make them move on.
Hope this helps!
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