Resumania™: When in Doubt, Aim for a Short and Sweet Resume

By Robert Half on June 9, 2014 at 7:00am

It’s generally best to keep your resume to a single page or, at most, two. Having difficulty streamlining your text? Writing a professional summary can help.

Conciseness allows employers to quickly and easily search for information relevant to their needs and open position. Unfortunately, the following job seeker took this logic to the extreme, providing hiring managers with only a postcard-sized amount of information.

RESUME SUMMARY: “I qualify for this position.”

We need a little more convincing.

While brevity is helpful when listing your qualifications, you do need to provide enough compelling details so those reading your resume aren’t left wondering what skills you actually possess. Consider the following job seeker, who was applying for a position as a payroll clerk. She should have mentioned her knowledge of automated payroll processing systems, proficiency in Microsoft Office and her solid customer service skills. Instead, this is what she offered up:


Care to elaborate?

“SKILLS: Able to use a copier.”

That’s a good start …

Professionals with extensive work histories, especially those seeking senior-level roles, may find one or two pages inadequate for listing all of their pertinent skills, experience and accomplishments. In these cases, adding an extra page is acceptable. Going off track and being longwinded, however, is not. These applicants provided a bit too much information:

“FOREIGN LANGUAGE SKILLS: Barely enough French to keep myself fed in a French village for a week.”

He survived on nothing but fries and toast.

“EXPERIENCE: Wedding Coordinator. I rescued two brides from tearing their dresses apart. I kept the black sheep of the family from showing up drunk (tomato juice and vodka work well). I talked one cold-footed groom into showing up to his wedding.”

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