Some career coaches will advise that your resume be no longer than two pages. The rationale for the advice is recruiters and hiring managers are busy people who lack the time to peruse a lengthier document. The counsel makes sense if you’re a recent grad or early career candidate, but if you’re a seasoned professional, you’ll likely find it difficult to pack a decade or two of experience into a pair of pages without cutting key content or selecting a microscopically annoying font size.
Brevity is always appreciated, but be sure not to lose the essence of your career story in those edits. If you’re looking for easier areas to cut, consider the following fluff content.
- References Available Upon Request: The statement is amateurish, filler language that doesn’t tell the reader anything.
- A generic Objective Statement: Everyone wants to “use their skills and experiences in an exciting, innovative company…” Such statements are a waste of space. Replace with a Professional Summary that showcases your brand and the value you can bring to an organization.
- Dates of Graduation: Even seasoned hiring professionals can be unintentionally biased when it comes to age. Make it a non-issue by simply listing your school and degree(s) earned.
- Your GPA: Unless this is your first job no one cares and even then…well, no one cares.
- Personal Tidbits. Great, you like cats. But it’s irrelevant and I’m allergic so…you lost me. Personal websites are all the rage now, but recruiters don’t have time to click here and check out your accordion music passion project. Even if they did, they want to first understand your skills. Take a page from the Gen X playbook and keep it professional. The personal will come in time and well…in person.
Once you remove the fluff you’ll have more space for things that help tell your professional story. Two must have items on any winning resume are:
- Metrics: If you list an accomplishment provide data to back it up.
- CAR Statements: A resume isn’t a historical record of everything you’ve done since birth. It’s a career summary that helps you get an interview. You have to showcase not only what positions you’ve held, but why you were better (more valuable) than everyone else in that role. You do that by listing key accomplishments i.e. a challenging situation you faced, the action you took, and the result you achieved. Proof points like these will help make the case.
Need a career coach? Contact me via www.plotlineleadership.com.
Be sure to check out my latest book The Introvert’s Guide to Job Hunting and follow me on Twitter at @timtoterhi