Short and Sweet

So many resumes we see have a problem with wordiness. Wordiness is when something is written with more words than are really needed to get the point across. Wordiness in a resume weakens the impact of the resume and makes it more difficult for hiring managers and recruiters to read. Remember, resumes must get their messages across quickly and powerfully. When you load the resume with too much description or unnecessary information, you make the message cloudy and you make it more difficult to grasp the message.


Most wordiness starts in the summary. It’s rare to find a resume with a wordy summary and a succinct employment history. Sometimes, people even commit the cardinal sin of wordiness and write the resume in a narrative format using “I” and other personal pronouns. A resume is a story, sure, but it’s not told like a traditional story. It’s more like notes from a class or a lecture – the most important information.


Here’s a nice, wordy passage from a summary I saw today:


“Future-focused strategist with finely-honed business instincts, positions organization to take advantage of new opportunities resulting from emerging trends in technology and corporate data management.”


Aside from the syntax error, take a look at the wording. Sounds expensive, doesn’t it. But what does it SAY? Are not all strategists focused on the future? Is that not the definition of a strategist? The finely-honed business instincts allow the candidate to do what?


Here’s another passage from the same resume:


“Offers consultative and operational leadership expertise at all stages of the IT sales and service cycle, from prospecting and networking, to presentations, contract negotiations and after-sales relationship management.”


“Leadership” and “expertise” are redundant in this sentence. The entire end of the sentence starting with “from prospecting…” is repetitive of the phrase IT sales and service cycle.


Bottom line – fewer words is better. Keep your communications clear and succinct. Don’t overdo your wording trying to sound important.


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