Cutting Out and Trimming Up Your Resume

Trim Your ResumeIs your resume weighed down with countless pages of everything from your previous work experience? Is it weighed down with awards and community service activities that have no relevance to the job openings? Does your resume have more pages than “War and Peace?”

OK job seekers! Let’s get that computer warming, ink flowing, and that vocabulary loosening because we are going to show you how to shape up your resume. Whether you need to put your experience on an elliptical or lift up your language, we can show you what to trim and tuck so you can have a ripped resume that will grab employers’ attention!

Aerobic Audience
You need to be aware of who will be receiving your application. Resumes are not universal and you will need to customize it to each job opening in which you apply. That means you should carefully decide which skills, experience, hobbies or community service, and objective statement to include, and which to remove.

Only the relevant information should be in your resume. Hiring managers’ time is limited and you need to get your most important information to them in the quickest way possible. So, consider leaving out a summer lifeguard job while going to college for a more meaningful internship or mentorship.

Minimize Responsibilities, MAXIMZE Results
Most employers aren’t that interested in what your normal daily activities were in your job as much as they are in what kind of results you achieved. When going over your resume, find ways of cutting back any unnecessary job duties and replace them with your accomplishments.

Employers also like to see tangible, quantifiable achievements.  When listing your results, consider things like the time or money saved, the number of customers you served or increased, or any new procedures or processes you introduced that increased efficiency.

Stop Hiking the Paper Trail
While you may feel like you need to include references or transcripts to cover all of your bases, it could be cumbersome and make it more likely for employers to pass on your resume.  If the job application or employer doesn’t request those items, don’t include them. It might be useful to have a few copies ready if you are called for an interview, but keep it reserved for when they are specifically needed.

Cut the Computer Skills
Typing emails and using standard computer programs can be used by the most average person these days. Most employers will automatically assume you know how to type, fax, email, and use Microsoft Office®, so including your proficiency in computer programs in a resume might not improve your chances of getting noticed unless you are looking for work in IT or as a programmer.

An important factor to remember when slimming down your resume is that, just like physical fitness, you have to keep working at it. Slimming down in real life takes a continual life change. So, keeping your resume fit will also require you to stay informed on current trends on resume writing and where your target job market is going.

Keep it up, and you can hit your career and job searching goals! What are some exercises you’ve done to your resume to make it more effective? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. AFA Julie

    Great advice! So many candidates include info that’s just not necessary, as you mention. I recently wrote an article about what not to write on your resume, but didn’t mention anything about not including computer skills – that’s a great one!

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