A readable resume will give you a better shot at an interview. I’ve written about readability in writing for years – it’s what they taught me in journalism classes. But tight writing is backed by science.
According to the American Press institute, when the average sentence length is fewer than eight words, reader understanding is 100%. Even at 14 words, comprehension reaches 90%. But when you move up to 43-word sentences, it drops below 10%.
Research also suggests that employers only spend about six seconds with a resume. In general, readers are increasingly impatient and overloaded with copy.
Resumes are marketing documents – pack them with punch. Get stingy with those long blocks of text on your resume. Carefully consider each word for its ability to convey what an employer gets when they hire you.
Microsoft Word has a built-in readability report it will produce when you run a spell check, but it won’t show up if there are no errors. However, there are lots of readability tools you can use online by simply copying and pasting your text into a dialogue box. Here are a couple I recommend: