10 Ways to Declutter Your Resume in 30 Minutes or Less

One year ago, I was practically a green, slimy alien who just landed on planet Professional Writing 101, lost and completely dumbfounded. 

My resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile resembled a corner dust ball filled with rotting food particles, a couple of fly carcasses, some smelly bacteria, and a few paper flakes stuck to it.

What I mean to say is that my professional portfolio was not optimizing my ability to find relevant and exciting career opportunities for me. In fact, it was doing just the opposite- attracting all the wrong jobs, networks, and people. And for the life of me, I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong! I had all of my previous experiences listed clearly, a fancy, smanchy science degree, all in one organized dated format, but still, 0 interviews or call backs.

I realized I needed help, so I contacted a professional resume writing service, Evolution Coaching LLC, who gave me the 101 about resume writing. I was what they referred to as a career changer, so there were specific guidelines they followed that could help me utilize my former skills in my previous science career into my new, communications field.

Moving forward, the 10 quick tidbits I learned from them and share below, will probably be pretty obvious for most people. Still, they serve as quick reminders that can help you my reader, no matter which background, age, or field you’re in, “tidy up” your resume in 30 minutes or less and be more confident in submitting your skills to your next potential, dream employer!

Plus, having a successful, attention-grabbing, professional portfolio is a no-brainer essential of being an organized and efficient human being in our social media dominated digital realm. Okay, enough of my blabbering. 🙂 

So here it goes, 10 ways to declutter your resume in 30 minutes or less taught to me by Evolution Coaching LLC and now I share with you:

[1] Sort out old experiences that are no longer relevant to your career field of interest.

For example, if you’re applying to journalism positions, adding an experience of when you worked as a hostess at J. Timothy’s Tavern may not exactly make a sound case for why you would be a great fit at your prospective employer’s (unless you participated in actual journalism-related projects there).

This sounds obvious right? Believe it or not, there are many people out there that are completely oblivious to this rule of thumb or forget about it completely! I was one of them!

[2] Tidy up typing errors and misspellings.

I learned quickly how huge of an impact this one can make! Before, I thought employers are human, they’ll understand if I miss an ‘a’ or ‘e’ here and there. WRONG! I once messaged a LinkedIn professional for a job opportunity without realizing there was brevity in my message (as I sent it from my IPhone). He candidly responded: “Feedback: If you want to work as a writer for us, you should make sure there are no typos in your responses.” And though this was a bit of an “ouch!” moment, he was absolutely right.

Proofread your work, because it will be your first virtual or physical impression in document format to your future employers!

[3] Clear out bulky, cluttered formats by opting in for a clean, sophisticated template.

Sophisticated and clear templates help allow recruiters and employers to read your skills, work experience, and essentially ‘build a story of why they should hire you and your fantastic self.’ However, if you have cluttered formats, bulky designs, and/or distracting typography, this may actually hurt your chances at that long awaited call back.

Remember, a clean design is key to getting the right type of attention.

[4] Get rid of any confusion with precise, bold headlines.

Precise headlines bring the reader literal and visual clarity plus clear direction on paper. It shouldn’t take someone two minutes just to find your relevant work experience.

Utilize your headlines well and this skill will allow you to make easily visible which areas you want your potential employer to focus on the most.

Remember, most recruiters only look at your resume for 6 seconds! Make it count!

[5] Revise any publication, site, or profile links to make sure the links a) work and b) direct your readers to the right place.

This one’s pretty self-explanatory! You have great work, so be proud of it and show it off!

The last thing you would want is for your amazing site to essentially go unseen and buried in some desert hill, because you forgot the ‘m’ in the .com portion of your URL.

[6] Declutter your key skills so that they only match your desired career disciplines.

The key skills section is a seamless way for your viewer to get an idea of what you can do and how you can positively contribute to the working team.

Choose your skills wisely, by making sure they are actually skills you have and of course, match the job requirements you’re applying to.

[7] Quickly audit your social media profiles, because let’s be honest, most recruiters use social media (especially LinkedIn) during their hiring process as a research tool.

For obvious reasons, employers want to hire dependable, relevant, educated, and honest people.

So, if your social media profiles send off a, “Hey, look at me! I’m wild, disorganized, kooky, totally unprofessional, live with 12 cats at home, and post contentious comments on Twitter! Hire me still, please?!”

[8] Update all key dates.

Make sure your work experiences match up the correct dates.

Some employers may contact your previous employers to re-verify some information and you wouldn’t want to come off sketchy in any way, would you?

[9] Straighten up with a quick dash of color (without going overboard!)

Let’s not pick highlighter lime green, but, I mean, dark blues are okay. Colors can still add an oomph to your resume.

Because let’s face it, it honestly must be boring and dull for someone to look at black and white electronic resumes for hours at a time, spruce it up a bit (but not too much!). It might get you noticed!

[10] Organize your demographics concisely.

Haven’t lived in Maryland for three months now? Phone numbers or e-mails changed? Make sure it’s all relevant and correct! Your contact information is vital, of course!

How will potential employers contact you if your old e-mail is listed?

I hope these straightforward tidbits helped you clear the junk from your resume and if it didn’t, sorry to have wasted your time. Still, please give this article a thumbs up if you enjoyed this content!

Remember: Evolution Coaching LLC is a professional writing service that helped me tremendously.

And that’s because, they have a team of highly knowledgeable writers that specialize in any industry and the owner, Kristen, will pair you, the client with a writer on their team that has the most experience in your particular industry. This ensures you receive the most effective and optimized resume possible.

I was able to partner with my own career advocate, Nikki 1:1 virtually. She was patient, supportive, and professional, always answering my questions and helping me overcome the most common barriers resume writers face in today’s world.

Now, my professional documents have a make over and so can your’s, starting today!

*Disclaimer* This is not paid, promoted content. The views and thoughts expressed in this article are of my own only (through direct experience).

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