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As we proceed in our careers, we frequently update our resumes without thinking too much about the older content we’re pushing out of the way to make room for the new. However, just as with any first impression, too much detail on a resume can be overwhelming to a hiring manager who is trying to make a quick decision on whether or not to contact the resume’s owner.

The trick is not to eliminate all detail; it’s to choose the right details. Here’s how:

  1. Start with the job posting. Every employer crafts a job posting with specific essential duties and skills in mind – the duties that need to be handled at this company and the skills this company values most in those who handle the work. The job posting is a gold mine of information on what the company considers valuable in candidates, so don’t overlook it. Instead, read it and highlight keywords that match your best skills and abilities. Use these keywords to describe your work on your resume.
  2. List specific accomplishments. Listing general job duties on your resume is a great way to overwhelm and underwhelm a hiring manager at the same time. It’s a ton of information, but none of it stands out. Instead, for each position, list two or three key accomplishments that incorporate your use of the essential skills (or carrying out the essential duties) listed in to the job description. Be concrete: “Purged, digitized, and built an accessible database for 11,000 patient records spanning 2000 to 2011” is much clearer than “medical records management,” for instance.
  3. Quantify. Can you put a number on your contributions on the job? Do it! Quantifying your work helps hiring managers see at a glance what you did and how well you did it. It also demonstrates what you actually accomplished. “Cleaned rooms in hotel” gives a general overview, but “cleaned 10 percent more rooms per day than any other staff member” clearly demonstrates your work ethic and tireless persistence.

At ExecuTeam, our recruiters can help you find the company that offers the best cultural fit for your work style and career goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find a great job opportunity in the Houston area.

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