How To Shorten Your Resume Without Sacrificing Value

Our collective attention spans are shortening at an alarming rate in favor of immediate, on-demand information. This mentality is spreading into the staffing world as recruiters and sales reps are inundated with more profiles to consider than ever before. They have less time to analyze more candidates, a massive disadvantage to long resumes and CVs. So how are you supposed to shorten your resume without sacrificing key employment details?  

The staffing experts at CSS Professional Staffing Group have compiled a comprehensive guide to maximizing your experience while minimizing your resume length. Your future hiring manager will thank you.  

CSS Professional Staffing Group proudly offers an audio version of this article for alternative consumption. It is imperative for us to cater to all readers with multiple means of information processing.


Streamline your way to resume success  

Shortening your resume is like selling your home to downsize. You want to keep those three sets of fine China and that beautiful mid-century ottoman the same way you may want to keep that one-off website-building project or that entry-level coding experience. Unfortunately, the point of downsizing a resume is to cut extraneous details like those.  

A 2021 Zety study found the average resume length to be 489 words with variance on either end due to experience or role technicality.

“Shortening your resume will improve its readability for hiring managers and allow said hiring managers to get to the end of your resume, and if you’ve written your resume as efficiently as possible, you’ll want hiring managers to hang on every word,” notes Alyssa Mastrangelo, CSS PSG National Recruiting Director.

To tighten your belt and treat recruiters and managers to an efficient, effective resume, follow these nine tips below and you’ll be that pound-for-pound champion candidate they’re looking for.  


1. Cut out irrelevant role descriptions 


Alluding to the aforementioned suggestion to cut that irrelevant coding experience (unless you’re pursuing a systems architect role), trim your resume fat. Not only does experience irrelevant to the role you’re pursuing take up space, but it also distracts hiring managers from your experiences directly applicable to the role at hand.  


2. Use action verbs 


A 2019 study from TLNT found that action verbs increase interview chances by 140 percent. Instead of “I was in charge of assisting the managing director with scheduling and coordinating meetings,” say “coordinated meetings for my managing director.” That brings a 14-word sentence down to six.  


3. Keep objective statements short, or cut them out entirely 


An antiquated section in resume lore is the objective statement. Once an effective manner of stating clear intentions has become a detriment, pigeonholing candidates based on preconceived preferences. Malleability and agility have never been more popular, so save that mission statement for the face-to-face interview and you’ll give yourself leeway. You may discover a hiring manager’s need that was not included in the original job description that you have an interest in meeting.   


4. Use hard numbers instead of soft arbitrary descriptors 


Replace “many,” “a plethora of,” and “at times” with hard numbers relating to action frequency, revenue earned, number of customers assisted/markets opened, and more. Numbers never lie, and they eliminate the need for a follow-up question to discern exactly how “frequently” you published LinkedIn posts for a business unit.   


5. Reduce page margins for extra wiggle room  


Just a quick technical note here; widen those margins to cut down on page count. You never know how many lines you can save with even just a half inch of extra space on either side.  


6. Consider using a professional resume builder    


Bad formatting is the best way to unnecessarily extend a resume, so use a free or paid online resume builder with preloaded formatting. They usually have predetermined spaces for contact information, listed experiences, special skill sets, and more. Now, think of what a baked cake would look like without a molding pan. You’d never do it without one.   


7. Keep contact info to a minimum 


Contact information should be kept to one line. A phone number, email, LinkedIn account, and maybe a portfolio or professional social media account are all that’s needed. No hiring manager needs to know your apartment complex number and zip code at first glance.  


8. Consider offloading some resume information onto a cover letter  


Applying for roles online these days often includes and even requires a cover letter. The cover letter is the perfect space to include pivotal information that you for whatever reason couldn’t include on your resume. Again, keep it short and sweet, but do know this is an option to fit in some extra information.  


9. Partner with CSS Professional Staffing Group to streamline your resume and land the perfect job for you  


To land your dream role at your dream company, reach out to the recruitment professionals at CSS Professional Staffing Group and begin your employment journey. Specializing in human resources, accounting and finance, office support, and call center support, CSS PSG has been a staffing industry leader for almost 20 years with stellar client reviews. Connect with CSS PSG today to make your career dream a reality!  

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