10 Tips for Trimming Down Your Resume

By Chelsea Babin

Your resume should be an accurate reflection of your skills, your experience, your career, and what you’re looking for in your next job. Understandably, it’s hard to fit all of that on just one or two pages, especially as you get more experience under your belt. But shorter resumes are often more effective. Here are 10 tips for trimming down your resume while painting a clear picture of your experience, talents, and abilities for hiring managers and employers.

1. Reduce Size of Name and Contact Info: A lot of people put their name and contact information in large, eye-catching font at the top of their resume. And this is a great practice! But, you may be going overboard. As long as your font for your name is 14-point to 18-point it will stand out. Anything larger is just taking up valuable room on your resume!

2. Focus on 3 Key Tasks and Achievements: When writing bullet points to explain what you do at your job and what your achievements there are, you can easily go overboard. The best thing to do is focus on 3 key tasks and achievements for each position. You can always elaborate further in the interview. But, if you feel leaving something off will prevent you from getting an interview, it’s probably important enough and not worth the sacrifice for the sake of space.

3. Decrease Margins: While you want your resume to be printable and clear, a one inch margin isn’t entirely necessary. Instead, try reducing your margins to a half-inch. This will make sure your resume is printable but you’ll be left with plenty of space for your experience, skills, and more.

4. Adjust Spacing: Similarly to decreasing margins, you can adjust your spacing on your resume will help you fit onto one or two pages without sacrificing valuable information. If your resume content is already concise, adjusting your spacing could help you reduce the size of your resume without having to go back and cut even more.

5. Reduce or Combine Bullet Points: You’ve focused on specific tasks and achievements but do they all need their own bullet points? Reducing and combining bullet points, particularly in your work history, will save you a lot of space.

6. Combine Sections: If you have a section for the technologies you use and you also have a section for other skills, why not combine the two? If you have a section for side projects and a section for hobbies or interests outside of work, why not combine the two? Reducing the number of sections you have will reduce your need for additional headings and condense the same information into a smaller space.

7. Adjust for Relevance: Some of your experience may not be directly applicable to the job you’re applying for. As long as you can cut it without making it look like you were out of work for years at a time, you only need to include relevant experience on your resume. Sometimes this means older jobs will have fewer or no bullet points explaining what you did there. Other times this means an old job in an entirely different industry will be left off altogether. Do what feels best for your specific work experience.

8. Promotion in a Bullet Rather Than Two Separate Titles: If you got a promotion and changed titles at a company you don’t need to put the same company twice with two different titles. Instead, put your most up-to-date title and explain your promotion in a bullet point or put your old title in parenthesis with years next to it indicating how long you had that title before getting your new one.

9. Cut Education or Interests Fluff That Isn’t Asked For: No, I’m not suggesting you should cut your education section or your interests section entirely from your resume. But, sometimes, you include information in these sections that isn’t asked for. For example, a GPA taking up a line in your education section or having more than 5 interests listed that are in no way work related can be considered fluff. If cutting them will save you space, go for it!

10. For More Information: Whether you have a GitHub account or a personal website, having a link with your contact information or at the end of your resume is a great idea. That way, employers can go there for more information if they’re interested and your physical resume doesn’t get too lengthy for its own good.

It’s time to trim down your resume! These 10 tips will help you craft a resume that’s concise-yet-effective, which will get you hired a lot faster than a lengthy, rambling resume. Good luck on your job search!

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