How to make your resumè engaging and easy to read?

Shorten the resumè with a strategic cut

Some people prepare themselves to write their resumè by reading around and gathering a plethora of generic information from the many handbooks, websites and books that are readily available on this subject.

They end up producing a well-written, dense, two-page-long document; so what’s the problem with that?

Well, the problem is that they managed to squeeze all that information in two pages by reducing fonts, margins and interlines to the minimum.

But recruiters are real people: they are able to discern, as people and professionals, what’s behind the document and how dense and full of information it actually is. It is as if the document was screaming straight at them: “Look at how heavy I am!” or “You’ll need to focus for at least 10  minutes to read me!” or even, “You’ll have to read me at least twice before getting an idea of what I’m about!”.

This definitely doesn’t help your cause, so you should edit your CV down to a suitable size. For some people, cutting words from their CV is like cutting off a part of their body; but believe me, shortening your CV is always the best choice. If you’ve done so much and you’ve got so much to tell, it means you’re probably a manager at this stage; and a manager is someone who knows how to effectively communicate, who doesn’t beat around the bush and goes straight to the point. The ability to be synthetic and concise in a CV is in itself a sign of your professional qualities!

This is my advice then: keep aside a detailed version of your CV and produce another one in the form of an “executive summary” of the former: maintain the same structure and the same headings, but trim down the details and job descriptions, perhaps even omitting some of the positions you’ve held, some of the companies you’ve worked for or some of the results you’ve achieved. In short, make a selection.

Not only does this compact version of your CV show your managerial skills; it can also be used for customising your CV in accordance with your specific goal or interlocutor (which are often the same thing).

What do I mean by “omitting a company you’ve worked for”?

If, over a career of 20 years, you’ve worked for a certain company for only 6 months, it’s not convenient for you to mention it and then have to provide explanations, whether you do so on your CV or during the interview. You’d better omit the information entirely.

What do I mean by “omitting a role you’ve held”?

Your CV shouldn’t be a list of all the jobs you’ve had, so there’s no need to mention each and every role you’ve covered, especially if within the same company you’ve held similar or overlapping positions. You’ll sell yourself better if you make a well-designed summary of your tasks and responsibilities.

What do I mean by “omitting some of your results and achievements”?

If you’ve achieved a great deal you should select some examples, perhaps focusing on accomplishments that relate to issues that are especially relevant for the market sector or the department you work in, and therefore might be of particular interest for your interlocutor.

These are simple but not trivial adjustments and they will make your CV engaging and easy to read.

About the author
Cristina Gianotti
For more than fifteen years Cristina Gianotti has been working in Coaching - Career, Executive and Business Coaching – supporting managers, professionals and entrepreneurs that are interested in investing in themselves and their own professional development. She comes from a management consulting, management and entrepreneurial background. In 2016 she published her fisrt book "E' facile cambiare lavoro se sai come fare" (It is easy to change job if knowing how) with bookabook. In 2018 the second one "Connecting Dots: il networking questo sconosciuto" (Connetting dots: the unknow professional networking").

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