This resume tip comes to us from Igor Khayet, founder of My Resume Shop.
As a professional resume writer, one of the most common questions I get asked is how to shorten a resume to one page without losing critical information. This question does not only come from experienced professionals (who have to fit a lot of work experience in a short amount of space), but also from students and young professionals.
Luckily, there are a number of ways to condense a resume without sacrificing quality. The first tip of this series explained how to decrease the number of sections on your resume, while the second tip provided advice on reducing the quantity of bullets.
Check out this week’s tip below, and be sure to stay tuned for the next two pointers!
Tip #3: Cut Excess Language
The resume is not an autobiography of everything you have ever done. Each bullet point should be a succinct representation of a concrete achievement at an organization. Within the bullet itself, focus on 3 main points: Context, Action, and Result (commonly abbreviated C.A.R.).
The Context explains the circumstances around your achievement; the Action describes the important steps you took in completing the task; and the Result answers the question of why the recruiter should care. Remember that the focus of the bullet should be on the action and result, not on the context. Recruiters care about tangible results because they provide insight into what you will be able to accomplish for their organization. Review each of your bullets and cut as much context as you can while still showing clear results.
Another strategy for cutting excess information is to remove unneeded language. The use of bullets on the resume gives you the opportunity to write in fragments and not complete sentences. Use this to your advantage and rearrange the bullet to cut words.
In the example below, notice how the “before” is three lines long and poorly organized. The “after” example is two lines, neatly organized, and succinct.
- Established relationships with key television wholesalers, SAMSUNG and mobile phone firmware/flashing companies that enabled 20% growth and sales of over $1 million within a year.
- Established relationships with television wholesalers (Samsung) and mobile phone companies; led to $1M+ in additional sales (20% growth).
Igor Khayet is the President and Founder of My Resume Shop (www.myresumeshop.com). He is a former Admissions Interviewer for the Yale School of Management and a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches. Connect with him on Facebook (www.facebook.com/myresumeshop) and Twitter (twitter.com/myresumeshop).