On and On and On, NOT!

One of the themes that will get expressed frequently in this space is the importance of being concise and brief. Among the biggest mistakes job seekers make is giving too much information, in resumes, interviews, and networking. Sometimes this comes from nervousness, sometimes from a lack of language skills, but more often, from our pride in who we are and what we’ve done.  And we’ve done a lot, but not all of it is relevant to people who are hiring!
Hiring managers, HR staff and others who conduct job interviews often cite the importance of a candidates’ ability to clearly and concisely talk about or convey in writing their most relevant work experiences and job related abilities, as a major factor in their hiring decisions.  Resumes that don’t specifically target the position being applied for and don’t address the applicant’s ability to perform the essential functions of that job, get deleted.  Providing a high volume of irrelevant (in the employer’s eye) details turns off the reader/listener, and they’ll take a pass on considering you for their opening.
During in-person interviews, overly lengthy opening statements by a candidate can kill the whole meeting.  Make sure that everything you say, every answer to every question is directly related to how you can fulfill an employer’s need.  Provide only the most specific and relevant details of why an employer should hire you.  What is it about your skills and abilities that meet the needs of the employer, and are most important to being successful in the position being applied for?  Your answers should be well rehearsed but not sound canned.   Be precise in your use of language to most accurately and briefly inform the employer of the contributions you can/will make.
The same holds true for written correspondence.  If your work history on your resume or CV is filled with information not relevant to the position being applied for, it isn’t doing its job.  Sure you are proud of all that you’ve done leading up to your applying for this position, but that doesn’t mean that your documents should dwell on the finest details of all the things you done on all your previous jobs.  Yes, all your clerical skills are important, and so are your software skills, but if the job you’re interested in isn’t really about those skills sets, don’t over emphasize them.  Edit your history and skills down to tightly worded statements that will still get your point across.
So, practice editing yourself and your descriptions.  Learn to limit how much you say about your past, and keep it all relevant to the job being applied for.  You’ll have a much greater chance at success.