How to Write a Resume Concisely and Clearly


All writing should be clear, concise, and correct. Good writers use plain language to express clear meaning. They write in a simple style that uses every day words. They do not use showy words and ambiguous expressions in an effort to dazzle or confuse readers. They write to express ideas, not to impress others. What do you think this manager meant in the following message?

Personnel assigned vehicular space in the adjacent areas are hereby advised that utilization will be suspended temporarily Friday morning.

You would probably have to read that sentence several times before you understand that you are being advised not to park in the lot next door on Friday morning. Clear messages contain words that are familiar and meaningful to the reader. Whenever possible, use short, common, simple words to say what you mean. This applies not only to resume writing, but also email etiquette and letter writing.

Don’t be redundant.

Have you ever seen a sentence like, “I watched the colorful sun set in the west,” or, “I took off the purple colored shirt”? Now, if the sun were setting in the east, that would be something to comment on, but we all know that the sun sets in the west. Likewise, you can safely assume that your readers know that purple is a color.

Similarly, watch out for words that mean the same in your resume: “We drained and emptied the tank,” could be replaced by, “We emptied the tank.”

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