You can add one page to your resume for every 10 years of your career, according to Google’s Head of HR. Of course, that’s not necessarily in your best interest. Many people with less than 10 years of experience have two-page resumes. However, not all applicants know what’s worth including in their resume, so some end up with a resume longer than necessary for their experience. While it may seem easier to include everything, the problem is no one will bother reading through a padded resume just to find out if the applicant is worth interviewing.
If you’re staring at your resume now wondering where it needs to be trimmed, the following guidelines can help you out.
1. Put Your Reader First
Pick a job advertisement where you want to send an application and tailor your resume for that. It’s easier to decide what’s not relevant if you have a specific company, position, and a list of job requirements in hand because then all you have to do is cross out every skill or experience that’s not directly related to your target job.
You might think doing so thins your resume. But if you look at it from their point of view, a concise resume where relevant skills and experience are highlighted makes the application easier on the eyes, compared to the dozen or so fluffy resumes they’ve read.
2. Delete Small or Inconsequential Responsibilities
The longer your job history, the longer your resume gets because the bullet points from your old jobs keep adding up. To avoid that, prune bullet points from your previous jobs that are no longer relevant to your current job title. This includes skills, tasks, and sometimes achievements in your bullet points that are no longer current. For example, as a sales clerk you may have checked inventory every night before the store closes but as a regional manager, that task is not something you can use to win over a potential employer, nor is it necessarily job-level appropriate.
3. Irrelevant Jobs
Any job that doesn’t add value to your candidacy can sometime be deleted or is often truncated, particularly if that job is old or from a different industry.
4. Your Address
This is a debatable topic but if you really want to conserve space, it’s worth considering. Some recruiters think omitting your address suggests you’re not local to the area. For me, however, if your previous employers are in the same area where you job hunt, then it’s obvious that you’re local and no longer need to list your address. This is also helpful if you are open to relocation.
5. Redundant Skills and Tasks
Job candidates often have more than one employer for the same job capacity, and as a result, each job entry on their resume may have duplicate responsibilities. For example, as a website developer for an e-commerce company, you were responsible for creating a website interface or user interface. You also had a similar task when you moved to an online media company with the same position.
Since you’re trying to maximize space, you can delete the second mention of said skill in your job history. Just put it in the most recent position since that’s where the recruiter will check first.
Long Resumes aren’t Always Better
Like college admission essays, length isn’t the determiner of success here. It’s the quality of what’s in your application or resume. Creating a concise yet meaningful document allows for more space to add more recent accomplishments.