Attacking Common Issues that Make Resumes Long and Cluttered


Our colleague Barb Safani has a terrific blog post today, Writing a Resume That Cuts to the Chase, that offers solutions to a number of issues that threaten to make a resume too long and ponderous. She also provides examples. In a nutshell:
  • Long job history: Summarize older experience.
  • Multiple temporary or consulting assignments: Create a special category and give highlights.
  • Too much information about job tasks: Barb advises you to “create a paragraph of no more than 5 or 6 sentences to explain your job tasks and only bullet your key accomplishments.” We agree but would make the tasks (or functions) paragraph even shorter.
  • Dedicating equal space to every job experience: Don’t do it, Barb says. Indeed, we always question job-seekers who give more weight (and bullet points) to older jobs than to recent ones. Recent jobs should get the most space.
  • Poor use of white space and fonts: “Don’t create margins that exceed one inch on any side, and use a font of either 10 or 11 points,” Barb says. Great advice. The biggest reason, in our opinion, that job-seekers make their resume margins too wide is that 1.25″ is the default margin setting in Word. Folks, you can change that setting.