Simplifying your resume means it’s crisp, clean, and able to hold the attention of a hiring manager or recruiter. Keeping it simple shows that you understand who are as a professional and what you have to offer an employer. Tailoring your skills and experience focuses on the professional elements you want to use in your career.

Here are three ways you can simplify your resume to increase your odds of having it read.

1. Modify Your Format

Format your resume so it’s clear and easy to read. Avoid unnecessary lines, graphics, or fonts. They can make your resume look messy and take away space for highlighting your strengths. Choose a format that lets you group relevant information together. Your career experience needs to flow for the hiring manager or recruiter to want to read it. Use bullet points with facts and figures to demonstrate your skills and experience. Consider putting your career summary at the top with three bullet points demonstrating key skills and the value you bring to the employer. In other sections, use bullet points to show results you delivered or key experience you acquired in previous roles. List them in order of importance for the job you want. Try out different formats to find the ones that best fit and refine your resume without detracting from your professional skills and experience.

2. Use Just Enough Keywords

Include the right number of keywords throughout your resume. They’re especially important if your resume is being sent through an applicant tracking system. However, overusing keywords can reduce the odds of having your resume read. Be sure the keywords you choose pertain to your strengths and the role you’re applying for. See which keyword trends hiring managers and recruiters like most and include them. Use the job posting to determine what they’re looking for in an ideal candidate. Work those keywords into your Experience or Skills section.

3. Limit Your White Space

Reduce or eliminate extraneous white space. When your resume has an even balance of white space, it’s more pleasing to the eye. Too much blank space makes your resume seem sparse. This distracts the hiring manager or recruiter and can make you seem inexperienced in the job market. Reducing your white space makes it easier to focus on the content of your resume. Use a basic, clean font such as Arial or Times New Roman. Increase your font size to 12 points, or add an additional section such as “Skills” or “Awards and Achievements.”

Have Mercer Bradley Look at Your Resume

When you’re looking for a new job in Western Canada, have the recruiters at Mercer Bradley look at your resume. As accounting and finance professionals, we understand the nuances of different roles and how to best approach your search. See which jobs interest you today!

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