Tips for Decluttering Your ResumeYour resume may have all of the essential information that employers are looking for, but if they can’t easily find it, you may risk rejection. Part of the problem may be your format, while another issue may be that it is too cluttered and busy. You want your resume to look professional while conveying the essentials that make you an attractive candidate. Take caution against providing too much information that could hurt your chances just as much as too little.
If your resume looks too busy and text-heavy, it’s time to do some decluttering and free up some white space. Your resume should be visually appealing and have a balance of white space and text so that readers can easily scan through without being overwhelmed.
Cut unnecessary words. Read through each statement and try to make it more concise. Some people tend to get too verbose in explaining their accomplishments. Rearranging the order in which you phrase something can cut down on excess text as well as clarify meaning. This is not to say you shouldn’t include details, but choose your words thoughtfully.
Condense old jobs. If you’re still detailing what you did in a job 15 years ago, it’s probably time to make some changes. Focus on your most recent and relevant experiences. If you held the job more than 10 years ago, you can probably condense it to just the company, position, and years. If you had a noteworthy accomplishment or two you can add them in bullet points, but typically more current positions give a better impression of your abilities. Roles are always changing and most likely you are not looking to hold the same position you did back then. If employers want to know more, they can ask you in an interview.
Use clear headers. Creating more defined sections can enhance the readability and visual appeal of your resume. It allows employers to quickly see key areas and breaks up text. Headers such as “Core Competencies,” “Professional Experience,” “Education,” and “Professional Affiliations,” are standard and straightforward. Sticking with a traditional font and an 11- or 12-point font size are also recommended.
Remove unnecessary information. Long gone are the days of including hobbies on your resume unless it is directly relevant to what you are applying for and shows value or achievement. You also do not need to list where you went to high school, your GPA (especially if it was not exceptionally high), and assorted activities that you participated in. In most cases, these are irrelevant to the position you are seeking, take up valuable space, and can be safely cut.
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