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How to Trim Down a Lengthy Résumé

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Oftentimes, I will travel to various career seminars and workshops to market my business through free résumé critiques. On one particular Saturday, I was critiquing local residents’ documents and I saw a common theme with some locals: their résumés were WAY TOO LONG. I’M talking 5 or 6 pages long! As a rule of thumb, a student and a professional with only a few years of experience should have a one-page résumé. However, professionals with more than three years of experience can have two plus pages. Although more experienced professionals are allowed to have two plus pages, they can still be too long.


Let’s examine three ways to trim down that résumé:


Review the Job Description

Review the job description for the role that you are applying to and try to have your résumé mirror exactly what the role is calling for. The résumé is supposed to be a brief summary of academic and professional experience, not your life story. Be sure that you know what the role is calling for and be as succinct as possible.


Remove Unnecessary Information

Don’t mean to bust your bubble but employers care about filling the position. Period. Not your hobbies, interests, goals, objectives, or anything else. Be sure to construct an airtight Profile or Summary of Qualifications followed by pertinent sections such as Education, Professional Experience, Leadership and Affiliations.


Know Your Limits

As a writer, I see résumés that have role descriptions that have two and three paragraphs. NOT acceptable. Your role descriptions should consist of only one paragraph. Now, I’m about to drop some gems. The average job opening attracts 250 résumés and recruiters only view one résumé for an average of six seconds. Do you really think someone is going to read all of that? Know the limits.



I hope that this article assisted you in being able to trim down your long, long résumé! For further questions, concerns or comments, please email me at


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