One of the key points for perfecting your resume for job applications is decluttering. It exhausts the manager to scan a resume that lacks white space. The same is why we have created a definitive guide to declutter your resume in 10 steps to help you create a winning resume that gets noticed.
Why Declutter the resume?
Also referred to as choking resume, innovative steps must be taken to cleanup a lengthy resume to increase its ease of reading and appeal. Apart from ATS software, every resume goes through another check from Junior or Assistant Hiring Coordinator before reaching the HR Manager. It is important to ensure that your resume projects the most relevant technical skills and achievements to prove your fitness for the job.
Hiring managers go through hundreds of resumes every day and take not more than a few seconds to evaluate the fitness of candidates. Decluttering your resume increases the ease of scanning and hence, highlights your core competencies easily in a resume.
Steps to Declutter a resume like a Pro
A congested resume with lengthy paragraphs often raises the red flag in a resume for being unreadable. If your resume resembles Pandora’s Box with outdated credentials and haphazard formatting, it is high time that you apply the experts’ way to declutter a resume as given below.
1. Use Bullet Points
The best way to start is by tidying your resume and using standard bulleted points to arrange the content neatly. Bullet points on a resume are a must-have for professional resumes as it increases the clarity of the content. Candidates must not use any symbols other than hyphen, square or circle on professional resumes to retain the formatting.
It is excellent to update lengthy resumes as it divides the core sections such as skills, achievements, work experience and even technical summaries.
2. Trim the Fluff
You must cut irrelevant credentials in the resume to decongest it by removing the fillers and other embellished credentials. It is punishable by law to fabricate the educational qualifications in a resume and hence, candidates must confirm that resume content is accurate.
The best way to cut fluff in a professional resume is by matching the job description with your own resume skills and achievements. You must shortlist all the relevant entries to portray your expertise as a fitting candidate for the job role.
3. Condense your Content
The magic to declutter wordy paragraphs in a resume is by dividing content according to the infamous PAR technique. Instead of elaborating on your duties, responsibilities or skills, apply Problem-Action-Result for every entry in your resume.
A simple way to quantify the technical credentials of the candidate, condensing resume content also helps to highlight the precise technical attributes that make you perfect for the job.
4. Maintain Focus
Focus on a resume is crucial, as it is an assessment of the goal or career objective of the candidate. To avoid this, zoom into the job description and empathize with the recruiter to find out what they seek in an ideal candidate. Losing focus often leads to cluttering the resume with unnecessary information such as extravagant personal details such as salary records or marital status.
To maintain focus in a resume, you must customize your resume for individual job applications.
5. Remove Repetitive Information
The extensive vocabulary of a candidate is often tested via the lingo or vocabulary used in a resume. Candidates must avoid using repetitive keywords or action verbs as it diminishes the quality of your profile document. In fact, resume scanning bots such as ATS often scan resumes for the total keyword match with the job application.
Resumes with lesser than or equal to 50% keyword match from the job description, pass the evaluation processes while profiles with more than 90% keyword match are terminated.
6. Sans-Serif Font Choice
Picking the right font choice in a resume is more important than you think as it judges the readability of the resume. With a sans-serif font, you can create a resume where the font does not overstretch or wreck the legibility of the content on when viewed on different resume reading devices.
A critical design and layout tip, candidates must use a sans serif font such as Tahoma, Calibri, Ariel or Cambria with an 11 or 12-point font size to create a resume that looks arrayed.
7. Fitting Choice of Formatting
Your formatting option from standard options such as chronological, functional or combinational can also be a cue to decongest your resume for its ease of use.
While the chronological format uses a timestamp in the reverse-chronological order to list credentials, a functional format focuses on cumulative skills in the resume to assess the candidacy. A combination or Hybrid format combines both chronological and functional resumes, ideally for mimicking a CV for academic job applications.
8. Neat Organization
Yet another important sign that your resume needs decluttering is the neatness of it. To make sure that your resume looks neat, candidates must assess diverse resume samples for layout, design, and order of sections in popular resume models similar to the job application. If you’re not a designer or artist, it is best to use a simple and classic resume template for job applications.
9. Add Sections with Clear Headers
Dividing resume content into sections with bite-size phrases and sentences is important to make it clear and well-defined. Moreover, robots resume scanners like ATS uses standard section headers to assess the relevance of a candidate.
Ideal section headers are useful to resolve disorganized and lengthy content in a resume is by using section headers such as Contact Information, Objective, Summary, Work Experience, Skills, and Achievements.
10. Retain White Space Economy
A little known trick to improve the visual appeal of a resume, it is important to ensure that your resume has proportionate white space too. It makes the content easy to read, according to resume writing experts.
Presenting a professional resume with ease of navigating and readability is important to ensure that your resume reaches the hiring desk. If you’re ready to transform your wall-of-text resume into an impressive and elegant resume that speaks into the eye of the manager, decluttering is mandatory.
As a bonus tip, always ask a friend or colleague to rate the readability of the resume before submitting it to the recruiters.