Changing jobs, or entering the job market for the first time, can be a stressful and daunting experience. The stakes are high, of course, but the path to a successful outcome seems to become more and more confusing every day. It can be a challenge to navigate your way through the process because the landscape is ever-changing, from the places to look for opportunities to the most appropriate ways to apply for them.
One thing that hasn’t changed, is the crucial role that your resume plays in helping you earn consideration and that all-important interview. Unfortunately it can be confusing as there are different points of view about exactly what information that resume should contain and how that information should be best presented. I’ve done a little research into the best current thinking about the creation and submission of resumes, and I’d like to share a few of the tips that stuck with me in a three part series on fueling your job search through resume renovation. In my first post in the series, I talked about how to get your resume into the hands of the right people in the right way. Today I would like to share with you 5 things you need to remove from your resume today.
Part 2 – 5 Things To Remove From Your Resume Today
If you have a “standard” resume you haven’t really reviewed for a while, now is the time. First of all, there may be some information on it that needs updating. Secondly, it might be time to look at it with new eyes anyway. Some “best practices” have changed, and chances are there are a few things on your resume that, according to current thinking, should not be.
- The “Objective” Statement – Old-school resumes used to carry this bland statement of what the job-seeker was looking for. But that statement could be crafted to match any position description. And employers care more about whether you meet their needs. So replace the objective with a brief summary that captures your credentials, interests, and value your skills can add to the prospective employer.
- “Old” Experience – It may be tempting to include all the places you’ve worked, especially if some of your early employers have impressive names. But if you have been at it a while, limit the experience section on your resume to the last 10 or 15 years. The prospective employer may feel that any job older than that may not represent experience relevant today – and it reinforces your age. For younger employees, it’s time to remove those part-time high school jobs. It’s nice that you were industrious, but use the space to highlight your educational or other relevant accomplishments.
- Cluttered or Inappropriate Contact Information – Naturally, you want to show that you are available. But when you include too many phone numbers or email addresses, things get confusing. It is not evident which one to use, and you may not check them all with equal diligence, so a message may go unnoticed. Better to pick a phone number – one that only you will answer – and stick to that. Oh, and as for those email addresses, make sure they are professional. An email address that includes an obvious reference to your favorite sports team or a personal characteristic sounds unprofessional, and may portray you as less mature or serious.
- Social Media Profiles – You may want to show that you are savvy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media profiles. But if your accounts are eclectic covering every aspect of your personal life from family to concerts to hobbies, they most likely provide too much information. A well-crafted and professional presence in a forum like LinkedIn makes sense, and is worth pointing out if you use it for professional activities. But the others may hurt more than help.
- Glitz and Gimmicks – Except for a very few creative professions, stay pretty close to the resume template you have chosen. The resume is not the place to demonstrate your flamboyance with colorful fonts and novelty type faces. Little cartoons or pictures don’t belong here either. Use neat, clean, white or off-white paper of a decent weight and keep it as short as it can be while still doing justice to your relevant credentials. Remember, what you think of as “arresting” is probably “annoying” to the hiring manager.
Check Back In For 5 Things To Enhance Your Resume’s Chances
Looking for a job can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. But you can go into it with a little more confidence when you know your major weapon –that resume – is doing everything it can for you. Next in my three part series, I will cover 5 Things To Enhance Your Resume’s Chances.