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Three Simple Tips to Shorten Your Resume in No Time!

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Do you need to shorten your CV but you are unsure what to remove? Or it's taking too long? Are you looking for simple tips to trim your CV with minimal effort? You're in the right place!

One of the most common resume mistakes is making it too long. If a resume is not concise, it loses readability, and, really, no one likes to read lengthy CVs.

How long should a resume be? What is the ideal length?

Perhaps the best answer is a quote from a famous mathematician named Pascal. He said, "If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter." Pascal is saying that he would rather write a shorter, more concise letter, but it takes more effort to achieve brevity. In the same way, the best and the most effective resume is distilled to contain only the most critical and essential information.

Today I'm going to let you in on three simple and easy tips so that you can shorten your CV fast and with minimal effort. Let's go!

  1. Get rid of the Work History section altogether.

What is the Work History section? Work History or Experience Summary is the list of companies, dates of employment, and titles that serves as a quick overview of your career history

There is nothing wrong with having Work History. It's just that often it is redundant because the same information will be present in the main Work Experience section anyway.

If your CV has a Work History section and you need to save space, you can simply remove this entire portion, which could reduce the CV length by up to half a page.

  1. Remove old work experience (10 years or older)

One of the easiest and most space-saving ways is removing old Work Experience. For completeness' sake, many CVs include detailed descriptions of old work experiences that go back 10-20 years ago. But there is really no need to do that. Their relevance is considerably lower for jobs older than ten years, and few employers (if any) will read that far. If you need to reduce your resume length, you can truncate old experience to save space.

You can really go at it and leave only the company name, job title, and dates if you want. Please remember not to remove the employment record altogether because that could raise questions at the background-checking stage.

One exception to this tip is if the most relevant experience for the position you're applying for is from a long time ago. Maybe you want to switch back to the industry you were in previously or move back to a career you had 10 years ago. In such a case, you should expand on your most pertinent and relatable work and try curtailing other less relevant experiences.

  1. Remove the last 30%

After removing the Work History section and trimming old experience, you can still take one more straightforward step. That is: cutting 30% of your Work Experience content.

You see, most people do not read the whole resume, including the Work Experience. They mainly skim through the CV, and, as a result, most employers will only read the top, maybe, 5-6 items under each company.

This means if your Work Experience contains more than ten sentences under each company, you can remove around 30% of your Work Experience with minimal impact.

Here is how you remove the last 30% of your work experience.

  1. First, you prioritize your points by importance/relevance

  2. Reorder them based on priority (The most important experience at the top).

  3. And then remove the last 30% at the bottom.

You don't even have to try and integrate them – you can if you want, but the return on investment will be low because these are the least essential/relevant experiences and points, and again the vast majority of readers will not read them.

To Recap: 3 Simplest and fastest ways you can use if you want to shorten your CV with minimal effort are:

  1. Remove the work history section

  2. Significantly reduce the Old Experience (from over 10-15 years ago)

  3. Remove the least significant 30% of your Work Experience

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