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  • Writer's pictureExpert Resume Pros

Is Your Resume Too Simple?

The best resumes aren’t just well-written and structured. They also need to be balanced. Neither too long, nor too short. Neither too wordy nor too brief. Neither too complicated nor too simple. That last point is particularly important, as an excessively simple resume could put recruiters off you right away. This is something that many job applicants struggle with; getting a perfect cover letter and resume written!


But you might be unsure about whether your resume falls into the “too simple” category or not. It can be tricky to tell, but this guide is here to help. Below, we’ll look at some of the common signs of a simple resume, as well as explore reasons why simple resumes can be problematic. Finally, we’ll provide some tips and resume examples you can use to upgrade your resume.


blank background with the words "Too simple?"

Signs of a Simple Resume

First, let’s look at some of the most common signs of overly simplistic resumes. This list should help you decide if your resume could use an upgrade.


Lots of Blank Space (aka White Space)

One of the most obvious telltale signs of a bland or basic resume is lots of blank space on the page. You might have very short bullet points, for example, or excessively brief sections like “Experience” and “Education,” with huge white spaces around them. This may happen if you fail to expand on certain points or don’t have too much experience to share on your resume.


Spend the time to review examples of great resumes that can assist you in understanding of how a powerful resume should be written.


Lack of Detail

This point and the previous one often go hand-in-hand. If your resume seems bare and empty, it might suffer from a lack of detail. For example, in the “Experience” section, you might have just listed your previous jobs and mentioned a few basic duties. A more detailed and effective resume will expand on that, listing key achievements from all your previous roles.


Only a Few Sections

Every great resume is divided into sections. “Experience,” “Education,” and so on. If your resume only consists of a few basic sections, it might be too simple, especially if you’re going for a role that demands extensive skills and qualifications. More interesting resumes may have additional headers, like “Achievements” or “Career Summary.”


chart with explanation to what Metrics are

No Metrics

Another common issue plaguing many simplistic resumes is a lack of facts and figures to support the claims you make. This is especially important in the “Experience” section. That’s where you’ll want to talk about your past duties and accomplishments. But, without stats and numbers to help recruiters measure your success, it can be tricky for them to truly understand your achievements.


Problems With Excessively Simple Resumes

A simple resume isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, many experts encourage people to keep their resumes as concise and clear as possible. This helps recruiters get the info they need right away, without having to spend too long going through the details of your resume. It’s much easier for them to scan a simple resume rather than one that is complicated or too wordy.


However, if your resume is too simple – meaning that it’s dull or lacking information – it might get rejected. Here are some of the reasons why:


Lack of Selling Points

Ultimately, the whole purpose of a resume is to sell yourself to hiring managers and prospective employers. It’s about giving them reasons why you’re the right person for the job and encouraging them to interview you to find out more.


Unfortunately, if your resume is too basic and bare, it may not have enough selling points to make a good impression. Recruiters might see all that blank space and assume that you simply don’t have anything to fill it. They might feel that you’re most likely lacking in skills or experience, for example.


two resume examples side by side that says "Bad ATS Resume" and "Good ATS Resume"

Not Competitive

The job market is hugely competitive these days. Some jobs get more than a thousand applicants. That’s a colossal amount of competition for you to outmatch if you want to impress recruiters and get called in for interviews.


If your resume is too bland, you won’t have much chance of keeping up with the competition. There are always going to be other candidates out there with similar skills and experiences to you. Your resume must be formatted and written well to help you get ahead of them.


What to Do About a Simple Resume

Evidently, simplistic resumes are off-putting for recruiters, and they won’t do you any favors when it comes to getting callbacks and interview opportunities. Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can follow to upgrade your resume and get your job hunt back on track.


Fill the Gaps

If your resume seems a little barebone, the first thing to do is flesh it out and fill in those blank spaces. However, that doesn’t mean you should add needless filler words that don’t add value. Instead, find ways to make the document more informative and engaging. Expand on key sections, especially the “Experience” and Skills” section to highlight your best strengths and selling points.


Add Details and Metrics

As stated earlier on, a big flaw of many simple resumes is that they lack figures and stats. So, an easy way to remedy that is to add some metrics. Specifically, when you write about past duties, projects, or achievements, think of ways you can measure your success. You might talk about leading a team of X people, for example, or boosting a company’s conversion rate by X%.


Get Feedback

It always helps to have a second pair of eyes look over your resume. A friend, family member, or colleague might be able to spot things that you don’t. They might notice sections that lack conviction or areas where a bit more detail is needed, for example. So, before you start sending your resume, get some feedback on it from someone you trust.


Find the Balance Between Simple and Complex for the Perfect Resume

As this guide has shown, an excessively simple resume can damage your chances of getting a job. At the same time, a resume that is too wordy might also put recruiters off. Therefore, it’s important to find the right balance, adding key details and relevant information without going overboard. If this is something you struggle with, a resume service in Denver that guarantee's interviews could be the answer.


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