Resume 101: How to shorten your resume and make it stand out

Do you include everything in your resume? If you do, it’s time to stop. Include the best parts, and get rid of the rest. The more you write, the more cluttered your resume is, making it difficult for reader to see the highlights of your career. Allow your successes to shine.

What you decide to leave off your resume does not have to go to waste. Bring up those information during the job interview, mention them in your cover letter, or in a follow up email.

Here are six ways to shorten your resume and yet make it a winning one.

List useful contact information, not just for formality sake

For privacy reasons, do not include your street name and street number – no one needs to know exactly where you live. Potential employers will most likely contact you by email and phone.

Keep your objective statement short

You’re not writing an essay here people. Consider using an “executive phrase” – two or three lines that capture your experience and skills, how they translate into what you want to do next. Connect the dots for the reader. The executive phrase is your opportunity to tell the reader who you are. Be objective. Stay away from words like “assertively” or “critical”. These words make it look like you’re trying too hard.

Focus on accomplishments, not job descriptions

Many times the experience section is filled with job descriptions, which can be exhaustive and lengthy. Focus on what you have accomplished in your roles, not everything that the role entails. Here’s a test: If a bullet point can be put on someone else’s resume, it is a job description that anyone can do; not an accomplishment specific to you.

Use bullet points

Information that comes in chunks can be overwhelming and difficult to digest, especially when the reader has to review your resume in a matter of seconds. Bullet points make information easy to read and digest.

Show me the numbers

Numbers help the reader of your resume to better understand your impact. It is an illustrative and efficient way to convey your accomplishments. For instance, instead of “Consistently exceeded annual sales goals through strong client management and excellent opportunity identification,” you could say, “Completed 2016 at 113% of annual goal.” Numbers can help your accomplishment speak for itself and are more effective than using tons of words to describe what you did.

Don’t mention Microsoft Office

Do not include your proficiency in technical or computer programs like Microsoft Office. For better or the worse, you are assumed to know how to navigate common programs. Share technical skills and proficiencies that are less common and more specific to your role.


When it comes to writing a resume, less is more. Resist the urge to cram tons of information into the document. Let the reader appreciate the best parts about you and don’t worry if you leave pieces of information out. Use this information later to continue adding value and keep conversations fresh.



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