Yes, many of today’s resumes go through the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) before getting to the human reviewer, but keeping the resume down to one or two pages is still advised when possible. The ATS may not care for resume length, but ultimately it will get in the hands of the hiring manager for review and no one wants to read more than that. Use these tips to trim your resume.
1. Play with the margins
It’s important to maintain white space on the resume so it’s appealing to read, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep the margins to 1 inch. Adjusting the layout so you have .75 or even half-inch margins all around will give you more space to include important content.
2. Utilize your lines effectively
This applies in Contact Information and under Work Experience on your resume. Under your Contact Information section, rather than have one line solely dedicated to your phone number and then another line for your e-mail address, put them on the same line so you have “Phone Number / Email.” And rather than have one line for your job title followed by another line for your employment period, revise it to be on one line like “IT Help Desk Technician, 1/2010 – Present.”
3. Check your paragraph settings
The spacing between lines may also be adjusted to save space on your resume document. While you don’t want text to appear jumbled, you also don’t need extra spacing between lines. Look under Page Layout and adjust the Spacing for Before and After for lines to 0 pt.
4. Avoid lengthy bullet points
If you can’t keep a bullet point to under two line lengths, it shouldn’t be a bullet point! Bullet points on the resume are used to help highlight information, so when it runs longer than two line lengths, it loses its power to have impact. You’re better off keeping the information in paragraph form in that case.
5. Ask if it’s relevant
Hiring managers only care for information that is relevant to the job, so ask yourself if all the information you have on your resume is relevant. Also consider your work history. Most employers only care for the last 10-15 years of your experience, so you don’t have to include information about your summer employment as an intern from 20 years ago. Keeping the content relevant not only helps you keep your resume to one page, but it also makes it stronger because your message on the resume isn’t diluted by irrelevant information.
6. Take out “References available upon request”
If you have an old school resume, it probably will have “References available upon request” at the bottom. Today’s resumes don’t need to include that. It’s standard that employers will ask for references to complete the screening process before extending a job offer to you.
Remember, the resume is like a piece of marketing. If you won’t read an advertisement that runs three pages long, the hiring manager isn’t going to do it with your resume. And even though the ATS works differently, the key is to only include what is relevant in the most succinct manner.
About the author
Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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