5 Tips For Shortening Your Resume

By Nate Pedronan, Senior Resume Consultant

October 11, 2017

You may be the best candidate for the job, but if the recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t read the information on page 3 of your resume what is the point?

Resume page length is a question we get all the time and when speaking about a typical Resume for employment (excluding CV’s), 1 – 1½ pages are a pretty standard rule of thumb. I have yet to find a resume, regardless of experience where we haven’t been able to consolidate.

For many, this can be frustrating especially if you have 20+ years of experience and accomplishments. I’ll first give reasons why page length matters and some tactics/concepts for shortening.

Why It Matters

Page length is an interesting question. No resume realistically needs to be over 1 1/2 pages because recruiters on average only spend 6-8 seconds reviewing resumes before making a selection.

Recruiter rarely read a full resume in exact detail, which is why formatting and flow are so important. They are looking for specific requirements and red flags on a resume.

If your resume is too long, there is a chance that your most important information won’t be seen. Extremely long resumes also will dilute the importance of big accomplishments on your resume.

5 Quick Tips For Shortening Resume Length

1)   Efficient Formatting.

There are a few tricks you can implement to help save on space through formatting.

a.     Font size can be as small as 10.5 but spaces between paragraphs can be smaller.

b.     Margins can be made to (0.5) creating more surface area for content

c.      Consider eliminating tables, columns, and bold formatting

2)   Consolidate Content.

Avoid being wordy and keep content bullet points to 1-2 lines. 

a.     Combine bullet points when possible and avoid repeating yourself

b.     Stay factual and avoid unnecessary “flowery” language that overly embellishes.

c.     Avoid repeating information as it may use up precious space (see what I mean?)

3)   Be Strategic.

A well-written job description holds the keys to the castle: it will describe the minimum requirements and keywords a recruiter will look for in a resume. Often, a resume just needs to list those minimum requirements to land an interview.  You don’t need to list everything, only what will land you the interview.

4)   Prioritize.

Read the Job Description or consider the job requirements. If you were someone hiring for this role, what are the most important things you would want to consider? Skills? Education? Projects? Longevity? Accomplishments? Make sure these are prioritized on your resume since you only have a few precious seconds to keep the attention of employers.

5)   Eliminate Old Experience.

Realistically, employers will focus on the roles held most recently. An entry-level role held 15+ years ago won’t be a deciding factor in landing the job and may work against you/age you.

Resumes don’t get you the job their goal is to land you the interview. The only information needed on your resume is information that would attract a recruiter or employer hiring for a specific role. If you focus on this concept, you will be leagues ahead over the competition.