Are you looking for a new job? These days finding a new job, whether within the same industry or in a new one, can be challenging. There’s so much competition out there, and companies are more likely to hire the best of the best of the bunch.
How can you ensure that you get that highly sought-after job? You can’t. But what you can do is perfect your resume to the point that the company’s recruitment officer will think that you’re the best candidate for the job.
Remember, your resume is more than just a list of relevant details about you; it’s also a reflection of your character.
So if you’re working on your resume, here’s a long list of things you’re better off not putting in there.
Unnecessary details like the following will only crowd your resume. Most of these details should be discussed in the interview instead.
- An objective. Your objective, obviously, is to get hired and work in the position you applied for. Only include this if you’re switching industries, in which case, give a brief summary.
- Multiple numbers. You can’t expect your recruitment officer to go through all 12 of your numbers! Just put in your primary mobile number.
- Blatant lies. Sooner or later, they’ll find out if you’re unqualified for the job or if you were fired from your last one.
- Any unnecessary, obvious words. Don’t be tempted to list down all the adjectives and adverbs you know.
- More than 15 years of experience. Include only details that are within the past 15 years. Anything from before that is deemed irrelevant.
- Reasons you left a company or position. The fact is you’re not with the company anymore; explain those reasons in the interview and not in your resume.
- A photo of yourself. Unless you’re applying as a model or a position where looks are relevant, adding a photo of yourself is just tacky.
- Generic explanations of accomplishments. Quantify all your claims with number such as, “Revenues grew by x% while I was on x project.”
- Short-term employment. Only include jobs where you stayed at for at least a year.
Irrelevant details are those that have no bearing on the job you'll be asked to do. Again, leave these details to the interview.
- Irrelevant work experiences. Your recruitment officer won’t care that you did a stint in McDonald’s unless you’re applying for a food industry position.
- Your hobbies. Unless you’re applying for a job that’s directly relevant, leave this to the water cooler small talk.
- Time off from work. If there’s a gap in your employment, there’s no need to explain it in your resume. Chances are it will be better explained in your interview.
- Your boss’ name. Only include this if your boss is noteworthy in the industry you’re applying for.
- Company-specific jargon. Chances are the first person to look at your resume would be an HR professional who’s not that familiar with the jargon of your industry. Skip this and only start mentioning jargon when you’re being interviewed by your future manager.
- Social-media URLs that are not related to the targeted position. This is just tacky, and might prove to be detrimental to your career if they find those photos of you streaking!
- Annoying buzzwords. No one wants to read a resume peppered with buzzwords like “go-getter” or “synergized” or “people pleaser.”
- Your GPA. Only include this if you have a GPA that’s higher than 3.8 or if you’re a fresh graduate with no prior experience.
While you should be free from discrimination due to labor laws, some details that might give away personal details can still leave you prone to discrimination.
- Personal details like your marital status, religious preference, or political affiliation might be grounds for not hiring you.
- Details that give away your age. Many companies tend to hire people within a certain age bracket, and if you’re not in that bracket they might put your resume in the reject pile.
- Your opinions. Your opinion can be stereotyped if you include details about your religion or even your political affiliation. Just leave this out unless you’re asked.
These details might be a security risk if your resume falls into the wrong hands.
- Your full mailing address. Your mailing address is irrelevant to the job. And if the location of your home is somehow relevant, just include the city instead.
- References with contact info. Companies don’t usually ask for references off the bat. And if they do, make sure that the references you include have agreed to let you reveal their contact details.
- Your current business-contact info. If you must be contacted, give them your personal number. It’s very unprofessional to have HR call you up on your work phone!
- Salary information. This should only be included later in the interview process when you’re negotiating your salary. If you put that in your resume, jealous eyes might just make you a target too!
You want to impress your recruitment officer. But if you include these things in your resume, chances are you'll immediately give them a bad impression.
- Too much text. No one wants to read a wall of text! Make your descriptions as succinct as possible.
- Too many bullets. Even if it’s bulleted, having more than 5 bullets in a row still looks like a wall of text.
- Inconsistent formatting. Make it easy for your recruitment officer to scan your resume. Keep it simple and easy to read!
- Personal pronouns. It’s understood that your resume is about you, so just cut the pronouns.
- Present tense for a past job. You’re applying for a job because you’re about to let go of your old one, right? Then don’t refer to it in the present tense!
- A less-than-professional email address. While it may be a source of amusement in the HR department, it will really lower your chances of getting the job.
- Headers, footers, tables, images, charts. Again, keep it simple and easy to read. Unless they ask for a chart, don’t include a chart.
- Outdated fonts. Times New Roman is out and hard to read, sans-serif fonts like Arial, Verdana, and Helvetica are in.
- Fancy fonts. If it’s too fancy to read, no one will probably read your resume.
Take a look at your resume one more time and check if you’ve made a resume faux-pas. Remember, your resume says a lot about you, and if your resume is a mess filled with irrelevant information, what does that say about you?
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