Less is more : hence Resunate

Posted by on May 4, 2011 at 4:10 am.

Yes – this is true for design and UNIX, but this is true for resumes too. After all, isn’t putting together a resume basically designing for information viewing? Here’s the deal: More is not in fashion. Whether it be Y-Combinator business plans or websites, every one’s beginning to embrace the One Page Love. Isn’t it a resume after all – which has gotta be a summary. Not a CV, which is what the folks across the pond prefer.

Your resume doesn’t need to be one page, but you still ought to trim or focus it to be pertinent to each job you apply to (same US News author for both articles). What’s with the flip-flopping? Well, the problem is today you have to impress both machine and man: On the machine side – Applicant Tracking Systems (those machines employers use to filter resumes). On the human side – HR managers (actual humans!) who determine the final fate after being fed what the former provides them. Resumes in Applicant Tracking Systems used to be primarily searched via queries or boolean search strings – hence it made sense to make resumes long, inundating them with keywords that might be searched.

But no more. ATSs are getting smarter, switching to semantic/contextual search. Now resumes can be ranked and sorted by simply matching against a job req (job description) – so stop making a fool of yourself, squeezing in “UI” (or “motivated“) in every sentence of your resume. Instead, treat your resume like any website that needs to be search engine optimized. Switching out the engine for a human’s recall-ability.

What would you recall?

Or rather, who would you call for an interview for a Web Design position? No – it’s no Rorschach test. It’s a word cloud of two resumes. But it’s the same person: the resume on the right is simply a subset of the content of the resume on the left.

No one’s denying you’re blog is the bomb and you love Indie Rock, but wouldn’t you rather be remembered for your kick-ass web design work that increased website traffic for a paying client? That is, if you’re applying to a web design opening. If you’re applying to a music production opening – a whole different story. Bottom line, in either case, some stuff is TMI. And with every impression counting for or against you, you need the messaging targeted and want the bounce rate low.

Easy to say, but when it comes to actually chopping your resume, it’s hard because you are attached to everything – all that info is important to you. That’s it, that’s exactly why we made Resunate – so that you don’t beat yourself up over it.

Calling our bluff? Then try this on for size: In a recent blind study, we took a batch of anonymous resumes and resubmitted them after they’d been trimmed down for each job description using Resunate. The result – the thinner versions of the same candidates were 2X more likely to be called for an interview. How do you like dem apples? We sure do.

Does someone close to you need to trim down? Facebook or Tweet this post – it may save them.


  • Y8 Jon says:

    This is a really insightful post give the economic melt down and the subsequent competition in the jobs market to acquire talent. I never actually looked at this way. Further networking on professional social networks and authority publications of merit go to further ones competitive advantage

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