News Article

CV TIPS - 4 Strategies To Declutter Your Resume

Posted 13th April 2023 • Written by Andrew Fennell on •

1. Refresh your resume summary

Your resume will begin with your summary, and this needs to be a short and succinct description of who you are and what you do.

Over the years, resume summaries have got shorter, and nowadays, it is widely understood that between three to six sentences are enough. Any more than that, and you might put the recruiter off.

Now, this can be challenging when you’ve got an impressive career behind you, but remember, this is just a quick introduction to some of your highlights.

With this in mind, you should include your most recent position, and any impressive skills, achievements, or qualifications you have, depending on what is outlined as most desirable in the job description.

This top quarter of your resume needs to grab the recruiter’s attention instantly, so they don’t want to hear about your first job after college all those years ago. It needs to be up-to-date, engaging, and, most of all, relevant.

2. Be selective about your key skills

You are an experienced professional with a list of skills the size of your arm, but this doesn’t mean you need to try and cram them all into your core skills section.

Instead, it is better to include up to 10 core skills in this section, and you can mention others later in your employment history.

The best way to ensure you get this right and avoid unnecessary or unhelpful clutter is to choose the top skills for your industry, role, or those outlined in the job description.

3. Don’t live (too far) in the past

Your work experience section must give an overview of your career and the jobs you’ve had in the past. But this doesn’t mean you need to give 25 years’ worth of details. One of the best and simplest ways to declutter your resume is to remove any outdated positions.

In most cases, you shouldn’t need to go back more than ten years, but if you’ve done a lot of job hopping in that time, try to avoid listing more than three to four examples of past employment.

Essentially, you want to list the most recent jobs in chronological order and remove the rest. The only exception to this is if you’re switching industries and you have a past position that feels much more relevant to this role, and you think it could give you a competitive edge.

4. Consolidate your education

Finally, when you’re first starting out in your career and don’t have much experience, giving more details about your educational career makes sense.

However, once you’re a seasoned professional, it’s highly unlikely that the exams you took 30 years ago at high school will have any bearing on whether you get the job or not.

This gives you a perfect chance to go through and consolidate your education section to make it much shorter. Cut out the outdated information and free up more space for those important sections like your employment history.

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