Resume clutter…ditch it!

This came up in a webinar I participated in this morning (will link to recording when I get it...have fun counting all the times I said "I think"): the length and content of a resume. Tiffany at Unclutterer wrote a nice short piece that I could not agree with more.

"Your résumé should be exactly as long as you need to describe it, and no longer." Word. Stupid rules have been messing with peoples' heads long enough. Unfortunately, some of those stupid rules appear in the comments section of her post. Caution.

Anyway, if you are in the job hunt process, or even if you aren't, take peek at what Tiffany has to say and file it away somewhere for future reference. Hey, put it in the same folder that you keep your resume in. See why I am obsessive-compulsive enough to keep up on the happenings at Unclutterer? It's like sweet buttery blog crack.

Any questions on the "rules", post them here (anonymous is OK). Usually, we will get some additional recruiter-folk to stop in and add come color to the conversation.

Comments (8)

  1. Luke Moritz says:

    Especially in marketing you want to break the mold, and changing up the format can be really useful.

    As a marketing grad I came up with some new ideas for my resume when I started looking for another job a little bit ago, check it out:

  2. Cliff says:

    Hi Heather!

    I’m very intrigued about something, and maybe you can help me 🙂

    A company (*NOT* Microsoft) was hiring software engineers. The contact address was HR Manager’s e-mail address. Alright, so I wrote the cover letter, attached my resume, etc. I was perfectly qualified for that position, my resume "went up to 11", I had more than enough experience, etc.

    However, I did not receive a reply. Nothing. Complete silence. I’m not talking about getting the job or not… I’m talking about complete lack of communication. I didn’t even get a simple generic e-mail: "Hello, thanks for the interest, we’ve picked someone else".

    Can you please tell me what are the possible reasons for this behavior? Does this happen often? Is it "the norm" in HR?



  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    Luke – as much as I, as a recruiting professional, don’t like the alternative resumes (timeline, etc.), I’ll give you credit for trying somehting different 🙂 Just promise me that you are using this just get eyeballs on yours and when you apply for a job, you send them your old-format resume.

    Cliff – my guess is that we have a case of a rogue hiring manager posting his own position and not knowing the etiquette of the process. Definitely not the norm in the HR process, thought the cowboy activity is something that folks in recruiting are familiar with…we don’t like it either. You should at least get an acknolwedgement to an email. Still give the company a chance. If you saw the posting on a 3rd party site, try to find the position on their company job site. Unless they are complete amateurs, that submission should go to the recruiter, not the hiring manager.

  4. Luke Moritz says:

    Heather – I do mostly (as of right now) use the timeline resume as a show-stopper/attention-grabber. When I do submit paper resumes, I have been using my old-format version.

    Although, one of my favorite marketing professors was very persistent about being creative (especially with resumes) to showcase yourself and to stand out in a sea of seemingly the same resumes.

    Do you think it depends on the job/position and the company, as to how different and creative to be?

  5. HeatherLeigh says:

    Hi Like. Yes, creative industries are more excited about creative resumes. For every 98 recruiters looking for theold-format, there are 2 looking for the new (OK, that’s not an actual statistic, but you get my point).

    It’s never going to hurt to send along the creative version as long as you include the old-format version. And that creative version will definitely get eyeballs on your website as long as you are using the keywords to attract the recruiters (and hiring managers).

    As for me, I apprecaite the risk takers, creative types. As ling as I can find out the basics as well.

  6. Luke Moritz says:

    Great advice Heather, thanks!

    Keep your eyes open as well, as I may apply for some Microsoft jobs in the next while.

  7. HeatherLeigh says:

    Great! Feel free to send that resume my way and I can get it to the right recruiters here!

  8. Bill Wagner says:

    One of my biggest complaints relating to resume clutter is the ‘alphabet soup’ that ends up on technical resumes (especially when they have been seen by a recruiter).

    I’ve spent some time talking to the folks we’ve hired, and they admit that they were told to ‘throw every acronym you know’ on the top of the resume. The recruiter said that without those acronyms, they wouldn’t get an interview.

    I’m talking about the "knows C#, Java, C++, XML, CSS, HTML, VB.NET, Python…….."

    Personally, I skip by all that nonsense, and get ot hte part that talks about what the person actually *did*. Real design and implementation skills mean much more than buzzwords.

    Thoughts? And most importantly, how to get candidates (and recruiters) to look for real skills rather than buzzwords?

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