A long resume is a real problem for some people. These longer resumes are a potential own goal, when applying for jobs. These long resumes are also a problem in their own right when it comes to managing information.

What’s wrong with long resumes? A lot!

Long resumes were standard practice, decades ago. They could be 10 pages long, in those days. Now, a “long” resume is about 5 pages. They’ve been replaced by CVs for professionals and new, smarter, and highly effective resume writing formats for executives. The latest resumes are very short, but pack in a lot of information.

The major issues with long resumes are:

  • long resumeLong resumes are inefficient – If you have a thousand applications for a job, do you want to read 5000 pages of information? Does the extra length help? No, it doesn’t. Employers don’t like long resumes, for that reason alone.
  • Long resumes are difficult to edit – You need to edit your resume for any job application. The more you need to edit, the more work is required. The longer the resume, the more mistakes are likely when editing, too.
  • Long resumes are essentially out of date – Modern resumes of one page are quite adequate to get a job. There’s no real justification for a longer resume.
  • Longer resumes don’t necessarily contain better information – Employers want specific information. A big resume may deliver the information they want, but it’s also very likely to deliver information they don’t want.
  • Longer resumes often contain ancient history – In the past, long resumes included a lot of work history. That information is no longer required on modern resumes.

How to turn a long resume into a short resume

To fix a long resume, you’ll need to do some systematic resume editing:

  1. Choose a new format. Functional resume formats are very different to old style resumes, but you can “transplant” information to your new resume. Combination resumes include some of the old resume, and are relatively easy to adapt.
  2. Create your new resume from scratch, using a template or manually inserting information in your preferred format.
  3. Complete each section in your new resume systematically. You can cut and paste things like contact details, qualifications, etc. Do not cut and paste your work history or other high maintenance space users on to your new resume.
  4. Use your old resume as a reference only and include only the most relevant information. Use bullet point lists and text inserts to abbreviate information and make your use of space more efficient and effective. This also helps presentation.long resume

The reason for not cutting and pasting from the big space users on your old resume is to “decontaminate” your new resume. Cutting and pasting tends to use up more space. The less space you use, the easier your resume will be to work with.

If you’d like to read more about how to create a great new short resume from your long resume, see this link.

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