One of the most common resume problems we see in self-written resumes is having too much information in the content. There is a fine balance that must be found between being too wordy and not providing enough information for the reader to grasp your value.
The result can be too much information or not enough.
Many job seekers have trouble defining the focus in their job searches. The typical job seeker looks at his career history and thinks “I’ve done so many things and I want to convey that versatility.” As a result, the resume ends up being too long, too wordy, and has not selling focus. Employers don’t look for candidates who are broad generalists. They are seeking candidates to fill a specific need. When a job seeker uses a broad resume that has little focus, he is assuming the employer will be able to recognize the particular bits that apply. The problem is that rarely happens.
Let’s look at a job description that is typical of a resume that has too much information. The following was a job description written by a job seeker who was seeking a principal job in a school system.
· Curriculum development/program planning and implementation
· Development of District Prekindergarten Scope and Sequence
· Staff supervision (hiring recommendations, observations and evaluations, facilitation of regular staff meetings, staff support)
· Facilitated staff professional development
· CPSE and 504 coordination
· Orchestrated classroom team meetings for student intervention
· Budget development, management and purchasing
· Grant Writing (please refer to page 3 of this resume)
· Parent communications, referrals and support
· On-going articulation with elementary principals
· Assessment of program effectiveness/development of relevant strategies (i.e., developed absentee policy and revised report card)
· Attended State Prekindergarten Administrators’ Association Board of Directors meetings, representing the ABC Prekindergarten programs
· Participated in community Advisory Boards and Committees
· Facilitated Building Level Safety Team Meetings and Improvement Team Meetings
· Executed all building level safety drills
· Police Department liaison
This is a great example of a shotgun approach. First of all, the list format does not help convey meaning and describe the scope of the position. It is not clear what this person did exactly and where he fit into the scheme of things. The bullets are vague and scattered in their approach. There is low-level information included such as the last two and “on-going articulation with elementary principals”. (The word “articulation” is also misused in the statement.) The job seeker simply sat down and listed everything he could think of that he did in the job without thought to importance, clarity, level of responsibility or detail. The result is a very poor presentation that does not sell the candidate.