The appropriate length of a resume will vary depending on your experience and the level of the position you are applying for.  Many will recommend that it stay under 3 pages, but if you find that you absolutely cannot condense it any further without leaving out important selling points, then feel free to make it longer.  For most people, however, especially entry-level employees, you should never need more than 2 pages or so.  Here are a few tips to help you shave down your resume without compromising on quality.

Keep your career summary/objectives short

Say what your proficiencies are and what you’re interested in pursuing.  Keep it to one paragraph.

Don’t go too far back in your work history

If you’re already somewhat established in the workforce, old part-time high school jobs often aren’t particularly relevant to the current position you are applying for.   They take up unnecessary room, while not contributing much to selling your skillset.  Worse yet, they may distract employers and leave them wondering why you included them in the first place.

Keep several versions of your resume

Instead of trying to jam all of your experience into a single resume, have focused, specialized resumes for each industry you’re applying for.  This now allows you to create a distinctive profile as a potential employee, but also avoids clutter and allows you to be more succinct without giving up relevant information.

Use functional highlights to condense similar work experience

You can avoid a lot of redundancy by compiling your accomplishments from similar roles into a single functional highlights category and then simply listing the positions separately.  This allows you to demonstrate that you’ve worked in a similar role at different companies, while preventing you from having to repeat the same duties and achievements 2 or 3 times.

Avoid using fluff in your description

Too many bullet points can take up unnecessarily large amounts of space, while not giving your employer particularly useful information.  For example, do they really need to hear that you “work hard” or are “good with deadlines”?  These things should be implied when they look at your accomplishments from your previous jobs.

Writing a resume can be a tiring experience, so it’s important that its key features are done correctly.  A resume isn’t a history of your entire work life; it’s a way for employers to understand the value you can bring to them.  Keeping things short and sweet but still informative is the best way to ensure that happens.

Lance | DBPC Blog