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Resume tl;dr

Seth, who reads my newsletter, asked me:

I originally wrote my resume with very brief sentences, but feedback I got from peers was to add more detailed concrete examples. It’s a balance between useful info and tldr.

The approach I like best is a combo of two things:

  1. One to three sentences for the whole project or role that summarizes what you did. Example: “Animal Rescue Organization rescues abandoned and abused dogs and places them in safe, loving homes. I redesigned their entire website to be mobile-friendly.”
  2. Three to five bullet points, each detailing specific things you did and the outcomes of those things. These should also be one to three sentences each. Example: “Built on a responsive, mobile-first grid, the site scales beautifully from small screens to big ones. Since the redesign, mobile-traffic grew from just 9% of all traffic to 52% and annual donations have doubled.”

You don’t need to tell them everything you did. Just the high-level “what” (and maybe “why”), and the result of what you did.

The resume doesn’t need to tell the whole story. It’s the hook that gets an employer to call you in for an interview.