These misguided job seekers want every, single detail of their employment history included. They advocate for long-winded job overviews and copious amounts of facts. They add and add to their resume, with no strategy or focus, mistakenly insisting that more is best.
It’s understandable; people get attached to content. They struggle to let go.
Yet employers don’t appreciate long-winded or generic resume material and they are the ones qualifying the content.
Busy resume readers want straight facts they can relate to. They prefer to be spoon-fed examples of clear accomplishments (just a few!), and they only want to read details that demonstrate clear value.
Long-winded resumes are rarely fully read. In fact, most resumes are initially scanned. If the file does not perform well in the initial quick review it gets tossed aside. And if you are wondering how well a densely packed resume, with a laundry list of material (aka: the kitchen sink), performs in a quick scan – the answer is: it doesn’t.
This is why it’s so important to keep resume content focused and succinct. When it comes to a good resume, less can be more.
Past performance is a solid indicator of future performance so don’t waste too much of the reader’s time reiterating what you were ‘responsible for’. Share results that align with their needs.
In the circumstances where job seekers insist on expanding, expanding, expanding I often share this reminder: even though a resume is all about you, it isn’t MEANT for you.
Consider the audience. Strong, modern resumes provide just enough detail to demonstrate value and position match. Nothing more. They are dynamic, tailored, and compelling…not overwhelming, mismatched, and burdensome.
If your file is starting to expand or you can’t narrow details you risk losing the interest of the reader or watering down impact.
Ask yourself, is your resume:
👉Scannable. Will it pass the initial quick review?
👉Succinct. Is it easy to spot value and results?
👉Relevant. Does every word relate to the posting at hand? If not, revisit and re-tool. Think *quality* of content versus quantity.
Other considerations and expert tips to help keep resume content under control:
👉 Read your resume on a mobile device. Is is easy or difficult? More and more recruiters are reading resumes on devices, so make it easier for them.
👉Take a look at award-winning resume samples to learn how to utilize modern strategies to highlight key content in a short amount of space.
👉 Present details in clear sections and manageable ‘chunks’. For example, try to keep role overviews to just 2-4 sentences and bullet points to just 4-6 per role.
👉 Consider an addendum, if you absolutely must. An addendum works well for project managers or consultants who’ve performed in many unique roles and may need extra space to share their career story. The addendum should only be shared when interest is expressed.
👉House additional details in your LinkedIn profile. This site is an excellent space to share media links, presentations, awards, professional development, or earlier work history. Point readers towards these facts by sharing your LinkedIn URL on your resume.
Looking for executive resume support? As an award-winning, master-level resume writer, I partner with top professionals and executives across North America, helping them level-up, land faster, and increase their earning power with compelling career tools. Visit me online at www.CareerImpressions to learn more.