Here is one of my favorite resume tips:
To improve the effectiveness of your resume, limit the length of each sentence to 25 words or less.
To count the length of a sentence in Microsoft Word, highlight the sentence and then click on Tools/Word Count.
If your sentence exceeds 25 words:
- Simplify it.
- Break it up into two or more sentences.
I pulled this 28-word sentence out of a resume in my files:
Established and led a strong global program in health policy, set direction and strategy, raised over $2.0 million in funding, led major activities, hired, mentored and managed staff.
I re-wrote the example above as this shorter, simpler sentence:
Developed and implemented strategy for a new, 12-person global health policy program that attracted $2+ million of funding in its first year.
(BTW, see more here about how to write “million” on your resume.)
I re-wrote the example above as a longer story told in several short sentences:
Designed and launched a Global Health Policy program to develop world-class health policy professionals for governmental roles in developing nations. Raised $2+ million in funding. Selected, mentored, and managed first class of Fellows, 75% of whom met or exceeded their professional development goals.
As you can see, you can use your resume to tell a short, simple story or a longer (no more than three lines of text) story about what you have accomplished.
In either case, your story is easier to understand, and has more impact, when you tell it with short sentences.
If this seems like too much work, hire a resume writer. You can contact me below or learn more about to hire the best resume writer for you here.
Updated October 2018
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