Whether it's your first time constructing a resume or you're dusting it off for the first time in a while, it's imperative to develop a document that's succinct and to the point. A cluttered resume can be challenging for recruiters and hiring managers to sift through efficiently, and that means people in these key hiring positions may overlook qualifications that make you stand out. Think about it like a game of I spy. If you were looking for a specific item on a desk overflowing with papers, pens, knick-knacks and other materials, it might be hard to find what you're looking for. The same goes for a resume. Perhaps an employer is specifically looking for candidates with experience in a particular computer program or social media platform. If this skill is listed on your resume, but surrounded by other skills that aren't pertinent to the job, it may get entirely skimmed over. To avoid this scenario, here are four tips for cleaning up your resume:
It's easy to get bogged down by words. While you want to be specific, over-explaining past positions and previous experiences on your resume can take up a lot of room and make it hard for recruiters to seek out the important details. Eliminate unneeded words and circumlocutory phrasing. When you're looking to remove fluff, ask yourself if each word contributes to the meaning of the information you are presenting. Extraneous language will not only clutter your resume but can also reveal a lack of ability to articulate.
Get rid of outdated information
If you're just entering the workforce, there's likely not too much old information that you'll need to trim. However, still keep your information as current as possible. For those a few years into their career, ask yourself if former credentials relate to the job for which you are applying. Rather than overload your resume with every remotely professional qualification, only include contemporary information that is directly related to the position. Remember that even if a specific role made a big impact on your career, it may not necessarily mean as much to someone looking over your application.
Unclutter your online presence
While your online presence isn't exactly part of your resume, many recruiters and hiring managers take it into account when considering you as a candidate. Remove anything on personal profiles such as Facebook and Twitter that reflect on you unprofessionally. Consider what you want potential employers to see when they type your name into Google or another search engine. Half of the battle is finding information online that can be potentially harmful to your job search. Finding, deleting and managing public information about yourself can take time, but it's worth the investment. Also remember that anything posted on social media, no matter your privacy settings, can likely be seen by a recruiter or hiring manager. Approach public profiles with the mindset that everyone can see them. To really highlight your online presence, consider creating a personal website.
Look at your resume from the viewpoint of a recruiter
Once you've trimmed the fat off your resume, read through and edit it from the perspective of a recruiter. Think about what stands out when you look over your resume objectively. Ask yourself if the professional qualifications you were hoping to highlight are easy to locate. Spend 10 seconds looking at your resume and see what draws your attention in that short duration of time. Also, make sure to have a friend or family member read it over and check for errors in spelling and grammar.