Keeping Your Resume Short and to the Point

Tips for Writing a Resume That Includes Only Relevant Information

Woman in interview for job
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I often speak to students who feel that they cannot put all of their experience on one page of a resume. They ask, “Is it really important to have a one-page resume?”

Relevant Information Only

The thing to keep in mind when writing a resume is to include information that is most relevant to the internship or job. When writing your first resume you may have found it difficult to fill a complete page but now you may be having the opposite problem of getting your information organized so that it all fits onto one page or two if absolutely necessary.

Keeping the resume focused on relevant skills and accomplishments will provide the employer with all of the information they need to make an informed decision on your candidacy. Be specific in your descriptions and avoid focusing on transferable skills such as interpersonal, communication, organization, etc., and statements such as… get along with all types of people or ability to work independently or in a team. When describing your skills you can provide specific examples of working with diverse individuals or working in a team but be sure to avoid generalizations that may seem like fillers on your resume. You can also include these statements in your cover letter with some specific examples and then use this document to complement your resume when applying.

Avoiding Fluff on Your Resume

Avoiding fluff can help shorten the overall length of a resume. Not including additional experience is fine as long as you have enough relevant experience to fill the page.

Many people believe that they have to include all of their work experiences on a resume which eventually may become impossible if they change jobs many times throughout their career.

Getting an Interview

Employers usually take only a couple of seconds to scan a resume and cover letter. Initially they are looking for relevant experience, the professionalism of the resume, and how organized the resume is so that it provides all of the information the employer wants.

A poorly prepared resume will usually be put in the no pile very quickly if it is unorganized or if the employer finds it difficult to read. Therefore, it is important that you as an applicant take the time to include only the information that will make the employer want to invite you to come in for an interview.

Length of Resume

Although a one-page resume is usually sufficient for college students, there may be times when a two-page resume would be preferred. If you have significant laboratory, theater, or journalism experience you will want to include that information on your resume. You may include each of your labs, your performances, or your writing samples or publications on your resume. This will provide the employer with a better understanding on your qualifications for the internship or job. An organized well thought out resume will serve you much better than a resume with fancy fonts and special characters. Keeping simplicity and relevance in mind when writing a resume is also important.