Author, Roald Dahl said, “An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details.” The same can be said about resumes. Too often when writing your resume, you might include more details than are necessary because you are under the impression that the more information you provide the better. After all, this might be the only shot you have to wow the reader and you had better get as much in there as possible. This approach, however, would be detrimental to your job search.
One of the most common mistakes job seekers make when writing their resume is including too much information. You want to clearly convey the value that you would bring to a position but at the same time not go overboard describing every aspect of every task you ever performed. The objective is to be succinct while still making an impact. Too much detail and you will overwhelm your reader. They will not even take the time to finish reading your resume and it will end up in the trash.
Take a look at the following example.
There are two main issues with the above example. First, it is too long and rambling with unnecessary information that would be better presented in a face to face interview. A bullet that long is too much and is essentially a paragraph disguised as a bullet. The point of using a bullet is to present a concise, hard-hitting statement. Breaking it up into separate bullets would make a bigger impact. The second issue is that the most important information is buried at the end. You want to present your accomplishment upfront using numbers whenever possible. Make it the first thing the reader sees, not the last.
The key is to provide the highlights with a few details that support the achievement. For example:
It is not necessary to explain how you leveraged your relationships, ensured broad market coverage, or what strategies you applied to optimize sales opportunities. You’ve given just enough information to showcase your value to your reader; anything more would be too much. Essentially, you should aim to highlight your accomplishment and the approach you took to achieve it. Save the details for the interview; that is the time to expand on exactly how you did these things. If you put everything on the resume you’ll have nothing left to share during an interview.
The amount of time a hiring manager will spend reading your resume is minimal. This is especially true if your resume expands beyond two pages, which you may be in danger of if you try to include every detail from your professional career. Don’t waste their time with unnecessary or irrelevant information.
Think of your resume like a movie preview. In a preview you don’t get the whole story, you get an overview of the central theme along with a few significant scenes, just enough to capture your interest and make you want more. And like a movie preview, your resume should be presented in a way that exhibits your selling points and makes the reader want even more – which they’ll get when they call you for an interview.
As the saying goes, less is more, and it certainly applies when referring to your resume. Give the reader a taste of all you have to offer while leaving them wanting more. That way you’ll be able to wow them in the interview with all the details.
by Megan Koehler