How and Why to keep my Resume short? Let’s go back to the time when I started my career and undoubtedly I would have not read the title of my own article as there was no experience to flaunt, there was more & more space to fill and of course, aspirations had just started growing big. When we put our first job on the resume, it automatically becomes out major accomplishment. We wish we had worn a collared shirt and there were more people around so we could share our aspirations with them. A beautiful feeling of all our hard work been now put in practice along with a long list of what all we have to achieve in the next decade or so. Time passes by and we have more paragraphs on our Resume and bigger dreams to chase. But tend to forget that who has the time read your long resume? thus we need to keep resume short and smart.

Well fast forward a decade with social media playing its valuable part, do we still require a CV or a profile on LinkedIn seems enough? Now that’s where we follow our old school trends where a CV suddenly becomes mandatory even if we just run through it in 10 seconds while hiring a candidate. I remember in my initial days of career and honestly a few years back too, filling in candidate application forms just before the face to face interview. Maybe it’s just me, but I never really understood the concept of filling in hard copies of the application forms with sections such as ‘blood group type”? I mean I haven’t even been selected and you would want to know my blood type? And then stacking the information in one of the files that you probably will never open?

Anyways, lets come back to keeping our CV short benefits:

  • Let’s skip the ‘About Me’, ‘My objective’ & ‘Introduction’ content on your CV – shall we? Is someone really interested in knowing your objective as a candidate? Hmmm…not really! They would rather go with client’s perspective of hiring the right candidate for them then why waste so much space on something that would hardly be acknowledged or taken in consideration in your interviews? Objectives may seem common, unrealistic & repetitive!
  • Next, let’s keep our margin to minimum, font to 10 or 11 (Arial) with our Name & Contact details on the very top. I have personally seen resumes where the name & contact details are on the last page and trust me an anonymous candidate profile is not very impressive
  • Keeping your CV readable throughout is the key to get recruiters attention. Believe in bullet points, yes they can take you a long way. Go back to your JD, list your achievements and collaborate them with your actual responsibilities. Make it precise and valuable for your recruiter as believe me or not, not more than 60 seconds is spent on each CV (sometimes even less)
  • With employment gaps, unnecessary emotional paragraphs of why were you unemployed for a certain time would only end up highlighting the facts that ‘you were indeed unable to find work or secure a job for whatever reason”. Instead, one line explaining logically can do the trick or completely avoiding the topic (on your CV) may work leaving the recruiter to call you and ask you further information (May or may not work, so don’t kill me for this)
  • As everyone would agree with me, our last job is considered as most relevant so kindly focus on that rather than promoting your first or in between jobs. Be partial towards the most recent job experience as it would get you the most attention (most of the times) from the recruiter. It also works when you show your career as a learning graph (i.e. if you have been lucky enough to have a smooth career transition). I have had my ups & down where I have quit some jobs, moved on or changed countries for that matter (just me, a rebel @ heart)
  • As a recruiter, I might be least interested in knowing whether you are committed, creative, innovative, hardworking and so on. I mean have you ever come across a candidate or a CV that mentions them as non-committed, disloyal, hate to work hard types? Let’s keep our soft skills for situation based interviews where you can go on and on about how you have showcased such super skills at work or in real life. Well I can’t help but reminisce one of my ex-employers having 4-5 pages of ‘behavioral” type interview questions for a basic Administrator job – I mean Really?
  • Do not, (I repeat) please do not mention “Reference Contact Details” in your initial application on your CV. Why disclose your immediate supervisor or a personal reference details when you don’t even know you are being considered for the role. Let’s save some space for your actual achievement & responsibilities on the job – shall we?
  • Last but definitely not the least, please proof read your CV. Thanks to the relevant technology that helps you identify typo’s & grammatical mistakes. You don’t want your first impression to be a last one because life is not that straightforward – is it now?

Keeping your CV short, concise & relevant is what can get you recruiter’s attention (Your happy Facebook picture on your CV may not). One or two pages CV is a good to go for me depending on your work experience, however you may have to attach a list of your portfolio or projects (as required) on a separate document depending on your role.

“If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan not the Goal”

If you wish to write about HR or Human Psychology & get published on IHA website, do email us at nitika@indianhrassociates.com

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