8 Ways to Shorten Your Resume and Increase Your Hirability

shorten your resume

“A crisp, focused resume demonstrates an ability to synthesize, prioritize, and convey the most important information about you. Think about it this way: the *sole* purpose of a resume is to get you an interview. That’s it.” —Laszlo Bock, SVP, People Operations at Google

shorten your resume

Lengthy resumes can be the Achilles heel of even the most distinguished job candidates hoping for an interview. Hiring managers who field hundreds of job applications a month often experience reader fatigue and typically only spend seven seconds or less on a first look at any given resume.

Get one step closer to the interview you want by utilizing our list of eight can’t-miss ways to shorten your resume:

1.) Rein in Bulleted Lists 

Although bulleted lists of skills, qualifications, and duties performed in previous jobs are the bread and butter of your resume, you can streamline these essential elements while still adequately conveying your value as a candidate if you do the following:

  1. Keep your list of qualifications to 7-10 high-level bullets
  2. Ensure the amount of text for each bullet does not surpass two lines
  3. Include two bulleted points per description of past jobs, rather than the traditional rule of three bullet points per job
2.) Take Ownership of Your Line Spacing 

Don’t limit your line spacing to the standard one-inch margins your were taught in typing class or default to the margin presets you established in Word. If your work or educational background is extensive, you’ll reveal additional space for text by reducing your resume’s margins to three-quarters of or half an inch.

shorten your resume

3.) Revise Your Objective Statement

Increase your hirability by reducing your Objective section to a maximum of two lines. Hiring managers aren’t interested in a lengthy resume objective that sounds more like a eulogy of your employment history than a succinct statement of what you’re bringing to the table now.

4.) Go Visual  

Try a visual rating system, like the one seen in the bottom right corner of the resume below, to highlight and self-rate your qualifications. This technique is minimalist in its style while maximizing the limited amount of time your resume will spend with the hiring manager.

Love this idea? Download a free template of this resume from Behance and discover more visual resumes we love in Resume Revival: 6 Creative Ideas from Around the Web.


5.) Eliminate Irrelevant Job Descriptions

Revise your resume to delete descriptions of past jobs that have no bearing on the current position to which you are applying. For example, if you want to get hired as a Telework Nurse, it’s safe to exclude your previous professional experience as a barista.

6.) Think Laterally  

Who said lists have to be written vertically? Shorten your resume and appeal to the eye’s natural tendency to read side to side by positioning your skills and qualifications in a lateral arrangement. Check out this lateral Skills map for a Telecommuting Graphic Designer:

InDesign | Photoshop | Illustrator | CAD | Web Design | Photography | Branding | Packaging |Layouts | Infographics | Microsoft Office Suite
7.) Adjust Your Font

Before you dismiss this space-saving suggestion as an obvious tip, ask yourself if you’ve done it. Like with page margins, old formatting habits die harder than 1980s Bruce Willis. Drop your font size from 12 pt. to 11 or 10.5 pt. and consider switching the style of your font to a more condensed variety. For instance, even when formatted to the same font size, words typed in Arial take up more space than those typed in Times New Roman or Calibri.

shorten your resume8.) Don’t Say “References Available Upon Request”

You can reduce the size of your resume by up to three lines, including the space before and after the text, if you remove the phrase “References available upon request” from the bottom of your document.

Most often, an employer’s request for references will be included in the job advertisement. If this request is not made in the ad the employer isn’t concerned with a references list or the hiring manager will ask for references at a future date, providing you advance in the hiring process. Either way, implementing this simple strategy could free up vital resume real estate to utilize for additional details about your qualifications or take the size of your document down to a single page.

Make Use of Your Newly Revised Resume

Now that you’ve shortened your resume using our hirability boosting tips, use it to apply to legitimate telecommuting jobs in 40+ categories. Our Telecommute Jobs Database features more than 13,000 human-screened job openings from employers that value telecommuting and telecommuters!

Register for a Virtual Vocations account today to get started. The best part? Registration is FREE!

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About Kimberly Back 777 Articles
Kimberly Back is the Content Division Manager at Virtual Vocations. Prior to beginning work with Virtual Vocations in 2012, Kimberly was a subscriber and advocate of Virtual Vocations' services. She has exclusively worked from home since 2009.