Cut the Clutter: How to Keep your Resume Simple and Effective

How to keep your resume simple and effective

It’s the time of year we’re inundated with messages to get more organized in our personal and professional lives: set new goals and clear out the old to make way for the new. In the spirit of this, here are some tips to declutter your resume.

organize resumes chronologically

Keep it chronological. 

The positions you’ve held (most recent first) are what prospective employers are most interested in seeing. Give them what they want.


If you are in a creative field (i.e., marketing or design), consider having a more elaborate version that showcases your creative accomplishments and skills as well as a simple format version. The simple one is much easier to read and to upload into an applicant tracking system (ATS).

how to keep resumes simple

Keep it simple.

The text and format you choose for your resume should be simple since it may first be read by an ATS where special fonts and intricate formatting won’t matter. So, using simple, classic text with basic formatting will help your resume make it through the first filters on an ATS, which is extremely important.

what is the best information to list on a resume

Keep it targeted.

Consider creating a career summary at the top of your resume. Focus on 2-3 key skills that you want to highlight and bring to the attention of prospective employers. This is also a great place to customize your resume to a specific job that you are applying for by changing up the skills that you highlight.

the benefits of keeping resumes short

Keep it short.

Bullet points are better than long sentences. They are easier to read and you don’t want a prospective employer having to search for information about you.

how to keep resume entries short and informative

Keep it to the point.

Cut the clutter. Don’t add fluff that isn’t relevant to jobs you are considering. The education section needs to list the school and degree only. The exception to this: if you’ve had a leadership position or received an award that should be included, but nothing outside of these details.

Simplify your resume so it amplifies your impressive career accomplishments while positioning you to land a great new job opportunity. Make sure the information you include is relevant and most importantly delivered in a simple format with easy to understand language. This year vow to keep your resume super simple! If you’d like help streamlining your resume, connect with us.

About the Author

Michelle Conn

Michelle Conn, Senior Talent Acquisition Manager

Michelle is passionate about women succeeding in the workplace. She loves baseball, running and baking. She’s a dedicated non-profit board-member and volunteer. She calls the beach her happy place and is the mother of 3 boys.

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