Your resume often reflects your identity as a job seeker. A clear, well-organized document shows that you've identified the logical next step and examined how your work history can get you there. A scattered, confusing resume, on the other hand, signals a lack of clarity. Fixing your resume can help you conduct a more efficient and productive job search.
Explain Your Career Progression
A scattered career progression is a hallmark of a confusing resume. A recruiter should be able to look at your work history and see exactly how it's prepared you for the open position. When your recent jobs are all over the place, this can be a challenge. The solution? Explain them in terms that are relevant to the potential employer. If you're applying for a management job, experience as a theater director might not seem useful. To help the employer connect the dots, you might list responsibilities such as "Managed a cast of 25 people," "Planned and executed strategic rehearsal goals" or "Increased ticket sales by 25 percent by implementing a cast referral program."
Remove Irrelevant Information and Filler
A great resume tells a clear story about your professional brand and career path. Filler text and irrelevant details dilute this message, leaving recruiters and employers to wade through a confusing resume. To make your resume more compelling, examine each entry and ask yourself if it supports the image you want to portray. If you're applying for a fashion editor job, the employer probably doesn't care about your college ski team experience. The same goes for generic filler text in your Skills section, such as "proficient in Microsoft Office" or "skilled in customer service". When in doubt, use the job description as a guide — if a detail isn't relevant to the duties of the position, omitting it is likely to help your confusing resume.
Create a Clear Structure
One of the easiest ways to improve a confusing resume is to create a clear structure. After a quick scan, an employer should have an idea of who you are as a job seeker and professional. To accomplish this, set up a visual hierarchy. The most important information should be closest to the top and left margins. If your job titles are important, you might left-justify them and use bold text, with other information indented and arranged in a bulleted list. If your college degrees set you apart from other candidates, you might put the Education section before the Work History section. As a general rule, avoid large blocks of text — they're difficult to scan, so important information might get passed over.
Fixing a confusing resume helps employers and recruiters, but it also benefits you. As you edit and organize your work history, it's easier to gain clarity and determine the logical next steps in your career path.
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