Cutting the Fat from Your Business Resume

Joseph Stubblebine
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For experienced business and management professionals, it is natural to have a lengthy resume. If you are about to embark on a job search, however, it pays to spend time editing your business resume. In doing so, you can ensure that the document effectively communicates your most important professional experiences to potential employers.

Most employers spend a very short amount of time reviewing each business resume; in many cases, your document has less than ten seconds to make an impression. Therefore, your resume should be no longer than one page. If you have a long list of past employment and educational experiences, it may take time to cut the fat.

As you are editing your management or business resume, focus on relevance. Go through your list of past jobs, volunteer work, degrees, and skills and identify the items that are most relevant for the open job. Compare the list to the job description and select items that will prove to the employer that you are qualified for the position. Pay special attention to your skills section, removing items that are common to almost all applicants. In most cases, employers will assume that you know how to use Microsoft Word—there is no need to list it on your resume. Be selective as you examine each item, keeping in mind the small amount of time your resume will spend in front of a reviewer. Finally, identify items that are irrelevant and remove them from your resume.

Another way to cut the fat from your resume is to remove sections. For experienced business professionals and managers, it is usually unnecessary to include anything other than work experience, education, and skills on a business resume. If you have sections dedicated to hobbies or extracurricular activities, remove them from the document to make room for more important content.

In most cases, your business resume should show a continuous employment history. If you find that your past jobs are taking up too much room, make each entry more concise. If you have five bullet points under each job, cut it down to three. Remove items that are obvious; if you worked as a manager for a social media team, there is no need to say that you oversaw the company's social media presence. Instead, focus on concrete accomplishments: managing a team of ten, increasing sales by 25 percent, or boosting the social media fan base by 50 percent, for example.

Editing your business resume takes time, but the effort can have considerable rewards. When you present information in a concise, clear manner, it is easier for a potential employer to see how you will be a benefit to the company.



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