1. Decrease the page margins. This is one of the most obvious ways to make your resume shorter. The margins to change first would be the top and bottom margins to .5″. If you get desperate and you still need more room after trying the following tips, only then do I recommend decreasing your left and right margins and surely no smaller than .5″.
2. Remove your contact information.
When applying to school, the AdCom is never going to use your resume as the way to find your contact information. Your address, phone number, email address, etc. are all going to be entries on the application, which is what they would use if they needed to contact you in any way. Removing all contact information from the header of your resume is a great way to save 3-4 lines of text. Note: This rule does not apply to a resume that is being used for a job application.
3. Be concise.
Sometimes when describing their accomplishments, my clients can get very wordy. When working to make a resume shorter, I constantly look for ways to clearly express the same duties and accomplishments with fewer words. This exercise in being concise also helps both of us think clearly about what part of the job we most want to highlight.
4. Change the position of your bullet points and indents.
Sometimes, my clients will have the descriptive entries tabbed way over, stealing a lot of space that could be used for content. Here is an example of excessive space to the left of the bullet points: This person should make “Work Experience” on a line by itself as a header and remove 2/3 of the white space she currently has on the left so that her content has more room to flow.
5. Look for “short” lines that take up space.
Three words at the end of a resume entry will take up the same amount of horizontal space on a resume as an entire line of text. My clients and I comb through the resume to look for any of these dangling lines of text that can be shortened to end at the previous line. Here is an example of a resume entry from one of my clients that could easily be shortened: By simply rewording the entry to “Led a career readiness program teaching students business etiquette and networking skills” we only use up one line of text on the resume while still maintaining the main idea. These are some of the ways my clients and I shorten their lengthy resumes. Share your tips and tricks in the comments!