6 answers

In terms of building a resume, what are effective ways to keep it concise?

Updated Richmond, Virginia

I heard about the "six second rule" but it's difficult to shorten my resume without feeling like I'm leaving out vital information. #job-search #resume #interviews #resume-writing #job-application

6 answers

Carol’s Answer

Updated Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I just attended a resume writing course, the best advice I got was to make sure that the summary section at the top catches their attention. Basically the employer needs to see the important points in the top half or third of the very first page, if that interests them they will look further. Use action verbs that demonstrate your talents like managed, led, maintained rather than "responsible for". When possible quantify your actions, for example "led a project developing for a $50,000 contract" - employers like numbers and percentages.

This is really helpful information! Thank you!

Amanda’s Answer

Updated Houston, Texas

The employer doesn't have to read the whole thing in 6 seconds, but you have 6 seconds to impress them! Keep your most impressive information at the top. If you are a recent college graduate with little experience, put your education at the top. If you have tons of relevant experience make sure they see that first. Anything over 10 years old or anything that isn't relevant should go. Also focus your bullet points on accomplishments rather than job duties. Accomplishments impress.

Thank you!!

Stefania’s Answer

Updated Skippack, Pennsylvania

It's extremely challenging to not have the urge to write down all the achievements you are proud of, but do your best to use the "economy of words" and cut the fat and keep the true essence. Use the very top of your resume to introduce your skill set, strengths and positioning in 3-4 sentences. Highlight the KEY things you've done and use a lot of action words (Created, managed, organized, produced, assisted, supported, etc etc). Best of luck!

Kim’s Answer

Updated San Antonio, Texas


They do not have to be able to read the entire resume in six seconds! The first time they look at it, they look at it for six seconds. They will read the Summary of Qualifications at the top, and then quickly scan for names of employers, job titles, and dates of employment. IF you make it past the first reading, they will read it more closely the second time they look at it.

The resume should probably not be longer than a page and a half for most people. Start it off with a "Summary of Qualifications." But, write this section last (because it's easiest to write by reviewing what you wrote in the rest of the resume). It contains "the best of the best -" whatever they MUST absolutely know about you, your skills, work ethic, etc. Use bullets in this section, and in the "Experience" section.

The Experience section should contain work history, It can also include volunteer experience. Follow this with an Education section.

The key to making the resume shorter is to start with the lengthy/wordy resume that you have, and look for ways to express the same idea, but with fewer words. For example, I looked at one where the person had listed "dusted the shelves, swept the floors, vacuumed the floors, mopped the floors, cleaned the windows, cleaned the bathroom." That can be reduced to "cleaned the store." However, I would prefer to see "Maintained the store in a clean, safe, and inviting manner." Not so short, but it conveys so much more - a concern for safety, and a recognition of the importance of catering to the customer.

Also keep in mind that the resume is not an autobiography. They don't need to know everything you've done - what they want to know is if you can do their job, and do it well. So if certain things are not relevant to the job you are applying for, you can leave them out. Most people have a "master" resume, and tweak it by making minor changes each time they apply to a job. The job announcement is your guide to what the employer wants to see on your resume.

I don't think we are supposed to "connect" on this site. If you want to connect with me on LinkedIn, I will be happy to review your resume for you!

Wow, I really appreciate this! This is extremely helpful information!! I would be glad to connect with you on LinkedIn. Thank you so much again!

Misbah’s Answer

Updated Los Angeles, California

Hi there,

have you read this article: http://www.businessinsider.com/ideal-rsum-length-for-google-2014-10

I think its great because it clear, concise, and points out what "right" about the resumes.

James’s Answer

Updated Dallas, Texas

In building your resume, make sure you cover the following with approriate dates: 1. Education 2. Past places of employment along with your responsibilities. 3. Extracurricular activities (at least 3) 4. References (at least3 verifiable) On top of your resume will be your personal information along with your current phone number and e-mail address.

Keep it short (one page is best ! Employers want a quick overview with your most relevant information...the rest will be covered in your interview...

thank you!!