As a certified professional resume writer, I’ve noticed that one of the most common mistakes people make when writing their resumes is trying to include everything. While it is important that your resume contains pertinent details, qualifications, and achievements, you don’t have to list every little thing about your work experience.
This may sound counterintuitive, but including less information on your resume may be better than oversharing. You don’t want to end up with a bland and unimpressive resume, but when you have held many similar jobs throughout the course of your career, you’ll start to repeat yourself. The same responsibilities will pop up under each position.
This is not the kind of resume that catches eyes. If anything, it’ll make recruiters space out as they skim over your repetitive document.
The goal of a resume is to impress the reader with your skills and entice them to want to learn more about you – preferably through an interview.
Stop Repeating Yourself
If you continue to repeat the same job duties under each position listed on your resume, the reader will likely find your document uncreative and boring. Worse, they’ll probably assume that you yourself are also uncreative and boring because you made this resume. If that happens, the recruiter or hiring manager is definitely going to go with another candidate – maybe even someone who presented the same qualifications in a more interesting resume.
Not sure what I mean by “repeating yourself”? Let’s use an administrative assistant as an example. Often, admin. assistants have very similar job duties in each position they hold. The trick is to use different wording and phrasing – even if you are talking about similar duties – to make your resume stand out.
- “Office manager handling in- and outbound phone calls, serving as first point of contact undertaking client inquiries, and resolving minor disputes.”
- “Client relations specialist serving to engage clients over the phone, answer any questions, resolve problems, and direct calls to the correct point of contact.”
These two examples are describing essentially the same job duties, but the different words and phrases make the two descriptions seem different. Try not to repeat job duties across multiple jobs, and if you do have the same responsibilities, try to word them differently.
Including Too Much Information
Another thing to understand is that you do not need to list out every single responsibility you held at each job. List only the responsibilities that correspond with the job to which you are applying. If that starts to get repetitive, then focus on the duties that make you stand out.
Let’s look at the admin. assistant again. It is a common knowledge that admin. assistants help answer phones, file paperwork, maintain orderly offices, and so on. Now, if you went above and beyond in your role – maybe you managed social media accounts, planned events, or helped with the hiring of new employees – then those are duties you want to emphasize in your resume.
When you are writing your resume, remember that less is often more. You don’t have to include everything on your resume. When it comes down to it, no one is looking at your resume to find out if you’re a nice person. The goal of a resume is to highlight your qualifications and show potential employers your achievements throughout your career.
Michele Lando is a certified professional resume writer and the founder of Write Styles.