Can We Engage More Readers By Trimming Back? Hint: Yes.

A delightful Milwaukee agency crafted (and sent me) a generic, but warm response message to a contract job I applied to. The tone endeared me, and the thoughtful, helpful info. But we can always engage our readers even better with tighter writing and more intriguing details.

In this week’s blog, I edit this message to remove over 30-words simply by removing weak verbs, passive voice, and camouflaged verbs. I chunked and consolidated ideas and then moved up (what I considered) buried bottom line info. Consider this kind of edit for your own future informative messages.

The Original Message

Here’s the message the group kindly emailed me:

Thanks for submitting your resume!

What happens now?

The recruiter working on this position will review each part of your response, including your resume and work samples, if provided. In the meantime, you’ll continue to receive alerts about additional jobs that may be of interest to you. You can respond to them directly, or simply delete if you’re not interested.

What happens next?

If you are a match for our clients’ needs, a recruiter will be in touch. The conversation may not be for the exact job you’ve expressed interest in here, but it will allow you to meet with the team and allow us to learn more about you and how best to represent your current skill set to our client base.

If you are not contacted right away, don’t be discouraged. You may not have been the right fit at this time, or the job may have been filled or canceled. Persistence, opportunity, and patience are key!

Before you send out another resume, make sure you look at our resume and additional resources here.

(Name of company goes here.)

My Potential Edit

We can trim back messages for brevity and flow in many ways. I’ve provided just one of multiple options here. Here’s my first edit:

Dear Job/Contract Seeker,

Thanks for submitting your resume! Before you send out another resume, look at our resume and additional resources here. In the meantime, please note the following about our process.

What happens now?

The recruiter we assigned to the position will review your resume and work samples. In the meantime, we’ll alert you of additional, potentially relevant jobs—you can respond directly to any roles of interest.

What happens next?

If you match our clients’ needs, a recruiter will contact you—if not for this job, for another role, or to better understand how to represent your skills to our clients.

Don’t worry if we don’t contact you promptly. You may not provide the right fit at this time, or, we may have filled—or canceled the job. Stay persistent, seize all opportunity, and remain patient—all these elements are key!


(Company name goes here)

The Benefits of These Edits

  • We trimmed the word count considerably. (143 words vs. 178 words.) This kind of edit might seem like peanuts; but, multiply across a long-form document and you shave off pages.


  • We created room for more riveting details—and data, too. With this extra space, the group can now inform users of the kinds of roles they place professionals in, over how many states, countries, and continents. With this extra space, we might learn, for instance, the track record for this agency on how many roles they’ve placed since they launched their business.


  • We brought up vital information.


  • We retained the voice and integrity of the original message. We maintained their overall effective design techniques of short, crisp paragraphs and helpful subheads.


Let us know your thoughts, and please, send me a message you’d like us to edit. Email us at: More blogs on editing live here.




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