You Can Shorten Your Resume and Still Stand-Out

Nancy Anderson
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Your resume serves as a professional snapshot, which means you shouldn't include everything in your career on this document. Instead, make your skills, experience and qualifications stand out by creating a shorter resume with just the most pertinent facts about your professional life. Examine these six tips for shortening your document for better results on your job search.

1. Pertinent Contact Information

No one needs to know your street address or ZIP code. On LinkedIn, your profile simply lists your city and state, so that's also a good point for your resume. Gauge where you seek your next job opportunity. If you're in the same geographic region, a city and state is just fine. If you live in Massachusetts and you want a job in California, consider just putting your state on the resume to save a few lines of text.

2. Short Career Summary

Keep your career summary short as you list two or three of your major selling points. This statement conveys what you want a reader to know the most about you in terms of your professional abilities. Do you increase sales revenue with every job you have, or is your top skill optimizing a team to get the best results out of productivity? Stay as objective as possible by staying away from adjectives and descriptors, and just list the facts.

3. Bullet Points

Bullet points set things apart on your resume and draw a reader's eyes to them. Bullet points also make information easier to handle. Rather than force someone to read a paragraph to find your most pertinent skills or experience, set these points aside underneath a previous job listing so a hiring manger can find them easily. If a hiring manger doesn't know where to start, you may lose that person's interest. Creating a modern format for a resume shows you understand hiring trends and that you're up-to-date with hiring practices.

4. Accomplishments

Focus on accomplishments rather than qualifications. If your bullet point can appear on another candidate's resume, that means it's a job qualification and not an accomplishment unique to you. Your resume suddenly looks like anyone else's and it doesn't stand out from the crowd. Focus on accomplishments unique to your experience that no one else can claim.

5. Hard Numbers

Hard numbers demonstrate your accomplishments in quick and efficient bites. Rather than say "Consistently led a team of sales professionals who increased sales for three years in a row," turn that into "Completed 2015 at 130 percent of goal" as a bullet point of your most remarkable year. Numbers don't lie, and numbers speak for themselves. When it comes to big data and analytics, hiring managers love numbers.

6. Generic Computer Programs

When Microsoft Office was a brand-new tool 20 years ago, listing this as a skill on your resume was a good thing. In 2017, word processing, spreadsheets and slide presentations are common practice. Avoid mentioning your expertise with generic computer software that everyone knows how to use.

These six tips help you shorten your resume so you can add more information to it. Keep your document one page or less, and make your best attributes apparent by using bullet points so your future boss can see what he gets ahead of an interview.

Photo courtesy of Sarah R at


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