How to Shorten a Resume

If you’re applying to jobs, you’ve probably heard the advice to stick to a one-page resume.

In a world where the average job posting gets over one hundred applicants, a one-pager makes life easier for the folks who are reading through piles of applications. Keeping it short and sweet helps them quickly spot your relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments. It also shows that you’ve got a handle on communicating effectively and organizing your thoughts.

How to shorten a resume

If your resume is spilling over onto multiple pages or packed to the brim with details, it might be overwhelming for potential employers. 

After all, you don’t want them to miss the best parts— that is, the experiences that really shows why you’re perfect for the job. By streamlining your resume, you’re not just making their job easier, but you’re also making sure your top qualifications and achievements shine through.

Here are some tips to help you get your resume to the perfect length.

1. Choose the right layout.

When it comes to resume layouts, simplicity is key. Opt for clean, minimalist designs that are easy to read and navigate. Avoid cluttering your resume with unnecessary images or graphics, as these can distract from the content and take up valuable space.

2. Don’t include all of your work and education experience.

While it’s tempting to include every job you’ve ever had, it’s not always necessary. 

Instead, focus on your most recent and relevant experience. A good rule of thumb to remember is to include only your last 10 to 15 years of experience. Only go further than that if it is your only experience pertinent to the role you’re applying for.

Similarly, there’s no need to include every detail of your education. If you’ve attended or completed college, don’t worry about listing your high school experiences.

3. Pick the most relevant details.

Take a close look at the job description and identify the key requirements and qualifications. Then, carefully select the aspects of your experience that best align with these requirements. Highlight specific achievements and responsibilities that demonstrate your ability to excel in the role.

4. Use concise language.

When describing your experience and skills, be direct and to the point. Avoid using overly complex language or unnecessary synonyms. Instead, focus on conveying your message clearly and succinctly. Use action verbs and quantifiable achievements to demonstrate your impact.

Example of using concise language on a resume

Take a look at these two examples. Both convey the same duties, but the Before example is nearly twice as long. In the After example, the addition of concrete, quantifiable examples speaks louder than words. Sometimes, less is more!


Monroe Company – Bowling Green, Kentucky

CX Lead | May 2019 – March 2023

  • Responsible for managing and leading a team of customer service representatives, handling customer questions and problems over phone and email. The team resolved all issues in a prompt and timely manner and boosted customer satisfaction.
  • Was in charge of designing and carrying out effective training programs to improve staff performance and satisfaction from the people they helped.
  • Collaborated with cross-functional teams including the marketing team to streamline various processes and enhance and boost overall efficiency of those processes.


Monroe Company – Bowling Green, Kentucky

CX Lead | May 2019 – March 2023

  • Led a 13-person customer service team, resolving inquiries with a 97% customer satisfaction rate.
  • Developed and implemented two new training programs, boosting staff performance by 67%.
  • Collaborated with cross-functional teams to streamline customer touch points, reducing response wait times by half.

5. Remove information that doesn’t need to be there.

Trim the excess from your resume by eliminating any extraneous information. Things that do not need to be on your resume include:

  • Your address: While it’s okay to put the city you’re based in, do not include your full mailing address.
  • References: You should have references available if requested, but these go on a separate document.
  • Reasons for leaving your jobs: Don’t include bullet points as to why you left your job. Instead, stick to outlining the experience you gained from your time there.
  • Your birthday or age: Not only is this unnecessary, but it could open the door for unintentional (or intentional) age discrimination in hiring. 

Does your resume include a career objective or professional summary? If so, remove those as well. Your resume itself serves as an adequate summary of your experience, and the objective should be clear— get the job and grow in your career!

Remember— you can use the cover letter to delve further into topics like your passions, describe your hopes for the future, or address potential red flags on your resume.

6. Reduce font size and widen margins.

As a last resort, you can make minor adjustments to your resume’s formatting to save space. Consider reducing the font size by a half point or widening the margins slightly. 

Be cautious not to sacrifice readability, as your resume should still be easy to scan and comprehend.

Brevity can be your best friend

While the idea of condensing your professional story into a single page might seem daunting, remember that brevity can be your best friend. By understanding how to shorten a resume to the right length, you can create a career summary that packs a powerful punch. 

And if you find yourself wrestling with the decision to trim down your document, just keep in mind that a well-edited resume not only makes life easier for recruiters but also ensures that your most impressive qualifications take center stage. Embrace the challenge and trust that your efforts will pay off in making an impression on potential employers!