38: Why the Changes? – 101 Ways to Find Work…And Keep Finding Work for the Rest of Your Career!


Why the Changes?

Let's analyze the changes I made to the résumé in Tips 36 and 37—and why I made them.

First: Less is always more in business writing (and speaking). So my first question was, Is it possible to compress this résumé to one page? To reiterate, find out what length résumé the employer prefers. If they don't care, it doesn't matter. But the exercise itself—trying to edit your résumé down to a page or two—will be useful. You'll discover the most important things you've accomplished. Those are the ones you can be confident about delivering to your next employer. In Paul's case, I compressed his contact information to two lines and gave him a brand: Controller. This allowed me to remove his objective.

Now to the question of where to put your education. As with a sound bite, you lead with what's strongest. If you have a lot of experience, put it first. If you don't, begin with your education.

On Paul's résumé, I removed all the bullets and condensed the descriptions for three reasons:

  • To save space
  • Because English is obviously not Paul's first language
  • Because fewer words have more impact

Paul would do well to memorize the key action verbs in his résumé to sell himself in an interview. As we know, employers like action verbs, so give them what they want.

I also eliminated the references, because references do not belong on a résumé. They should be on a separate sheet of paper and presented when the interviewer asks for them. Having this ready will show that you are prepared.