What To Do If Your Resume Is Too Long: Tips For Trimming Your Resume

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Are you feeling like your resume is longer than the line at the DMV? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many job seekers struggle with the challenge of fitting their entire career history onto one page. But fear not, trimming your resume down to size is easier than you think. In fact, it’s like trimming the fat off a juicy steak – with the right tools and techniques, you can have a lean and mean resume that’s ready to impress any employer.

In today’s fast-paced job market, innovation is key. Employers are looking for candidates who can bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to the table. So, it’s important to make sure your resume is concise, organized, and tailored to the job posting.

In this article, we’ll provide you with practical tips on how to assess your resume for redundancies, tailor it to the job posting, simplify your formatting, be selective with your work experience, and get feedback. By the end of this article, you’ll have the skills to trim your resume down to size and stand out from the competition.

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Keep the resume concise and organized
  • Remove redundancies and irrelevant information
  • Highlight achievements and relevant skills
  • Prioritize recent and relevant work experience

Assess Your Resume for Redundancies and Irrelevant Information

You’ll want to take a critical eye to your resume, looking for any redundancies or irrelevant information that can be trimmed down to make your document more concise and effective.

Remove fluff and focus on highlighting your achievements and relevant skills. This means getting rid of any repetitive information or buzzwords that don’t add value to your resume.

When assessing your resume, put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager. What information would they find most relevant and important? Cut out any irrelevant information or experiences that don’t directly relate to the job you’re applying for.

Focus on highlighting your most impressive achievements and skills, and make sure they stand out on your resume. A concise and effective resume will make a much stronger impression on potential employers.

Tailor Your Resume to the Job Posting

Just like a tailor who customizes a suit to fit the individual, it’s important to customize your resume to fit the specific job posting. This means customizing content and targeting skills to align with what the employer is looking for.

To tailor your resume, start by analyzing the job posting and highlighting the key skills and qualifications required. Then, assess your resume to see if you have included those specific skills and qualifications. If not, add them to your resume and adjust the wording to ensure that it aligns with the job posting.

Another way to tailor your resume is by using keywords that are specific to the job posting. Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter resumes. These systems scan resumes for specific keywords that are relevant to the job posting. By including these keywords in your resume, you increase your chances of making it through the ATS and being considered for the position.

Additionally, consider highlighting any experience or accomplishments that are relevant to the job posting. By tailoring your resume to the specific job posting, you show the employer that you are a strong candidate who has the skills and experience they are looking for.

a woman tailoring her resume for the job posting
A woman tailoring her resume for the job posting

Simplify Your Formatting

Streamline your resume formatting for a clean and professional look that captures the attention of potential employers. Revamp the design of your resume by eliminating unnecessary fonts, colors, and graphics.

Stick to a simple and easy-to-read font such as Arial or Times New Roman, and use bold and italics sparingly to highlight important information. Additionally, eliminate fluff by organizing your resume into clear and concise sections.

Use bullet points to list your accomplishments, and keep each point brief and to the point. Make sure the most relevant information is at the top of each section so that potential employers can quickly see why you’re the best fit for the job.

By simplifying your formatting, you can make your resume easier to read and more visually appealing, which helps you stand out from other applicants.

Be Selective with Your Work Experience

To make an impact with your work experience, it’s important to be selective and choose the most relevant positions to showcase on your resume. Don’t simply list all of your previous jobs, instead, focus on the ones that best demonstrate your skills and accomplishments.

Highlight key achievements and quantifiable results that showcase your value as an employee. Prioritizing recent experience is also important when trimming your resume. While it may be tempting to include every job you’ve ever had, it’s more important to focus on the most recent and relevant experience.

This shows potential employers that you’re up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in your field and that you’re actively working to improve your skills and knowledge. By being selective and prioritizing recent experience, you’ll be able to create a more concise and impactful resume that will help you stand out to potential employers.

Get Feedback

To improve your resume and make sure it’s effective, it’s important to get feedback from others. Have someone else review it and ask for their honest opinion about its strengths and weaknesses.

You can also use online tools to analyze your resume and get suggestions for improvements. If you’re still struggling, consider hiring a professional resume writer who can help you create a polished and compelling document that will help you stand out to potential employers.

Have Someone Else Review Your Resume

Consider getting a fresh perspective on your resume by having a friend or colleague review it. Seeking external feedback can bring many benefits, such as catching mistakes that you may have overlooked and providing a different viewpoint on your skills and experiences.

It’s important to choose someone who you trust and who has experience in reviewing resumes to ensure that their feedback is valuable. When having someone else review your resume, make sure to provide them with clear instructions on what you’re looking for.

This can include asking them to look for common mistakes to avoid during resume review, such as grammatical errors or lengthy descriptions.

Additionally, ask for their honest opinion on the overall flow and organization of your resume. Taking the time to receive outside feedback can ultimately help you to create a more concise and effective resume.

Be open to constructive criticism and provide clear instructions on what you’re seeking feedback on. Choose someone who you trust and who has experience in reviewing resumes.

a woman getting her resume reviewed by someone else
A woman getting her resume reviewed by someone else

Use Online Tools to Analyze Your Resume

Now that you’ve had someone else review your resume, it’s time to take a deeper dive into trimming it down. One helpful tool to consider is using online analyzing tools to give you a clear picture of what changes can be made.

There are both pros and cons to using these tools. On the one hand, they can quickly identify any areas where your resume may be too wordy or repetitive. However, they may also miss important nuances that a human reviewer would catch.

Some of the best online analyzing tools for resume trimming include Jobscan, Resume Worded, and RezScore. These tools can help you pinpoint specific areas of your resume that need improvement and give you suggestions on how to make those changes.

By utilizing these tools, you can feel confident that your resume is the best possible representation of your skills and experience.

Consider Hiring a Professional Resume Writer

Hiring a professional resume writer can greatly improve the chances of landing your dream job, as they have the expertise to highlight your skills and experience in a way that stands out to potential employers. Here are the benefits of getting help from a professional:

  1. Industry knowledge: Professional resume writers have a deep understanding of what employers in different industries are looking for in a candidate. They can tailor your resume to suit the specific requirements of your desired job, which can give you a competitive edge.
  2. Improved presentation: A professional resume writer can help you present your skills and experience in a way that’s easy to read and understand. They can highlight your strengths and accomplishments in a clear and concise manner, making your resume more attractive to potential employers.
  3. Time and cost-effectiveness: Hiring a professional resume writer can save you time and money in the long run. They can help you create a resume that gets noticed quickly, which may shorten your job search and result in a higher salary. Moreover, a professional resume writer can help you avoid mistakes that could have cost you opportunities.

Even though hiring a professional resume writer may seem like an additional cost, it can be a good investment in your career. With their expertise, industry knowledge, and improved presentation, you may land your dream job sooner than you think.


As you move forward in your job search, keep in mind that your resume should always be tailored to the specific job posting and highlight your most relevant experience and skills.

Remember, the goal of your resume is to land an interview, not to list every single thing you’ve ever done.

By simplifying your formatting, being selective with your work experience, and getting feedback from others, you can create a strong and effective resume that showcases your qualifications and catches the attention of hiring managers.

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Jessica started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories. She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at When You Write, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.