Your resume needs attention!
And not just attention from recruiters and hiring managers. It needs your attention.
The average recruiter will review hundreds of resumes, and that’s just for one job! Considering that recruiters manage numerous vacancies at once when you do the math, it’s no wonder the average recruiter will spend just 10 seconds or less reviewing a resume before deciding whether you’re a suitable candidate.
With that in mind, you must use every word on your resume wisely to increase your chances of being selected for an interview. So, if you want to pass this 10-second test, nothing should be on there that doesn’t need to be.
Here are 13 things to remove from your resume right now.
1. Postal Adress
If you’re applying for a job, at the very least, you’ve checked out the location and are happy to commute or plan on moving there if it’s not a remote job.
Space on your resume comes at a premium; everything on it should be valuable and make the recruiter want to call you and the hiring manager want to see you for an interview ASAP.
Your address does not fall into either of these categories, so get rid of it.
2. Unnecessary qualifications
Your qualifications need to be relevant and should make you more attractive for the role in question. There’s no need to go back too far and list every award you ever received in school. This takes up space that could be better used on more important things, like highlighting significant accomplishments in relevant roles.
A safe bet is to stick to professional qualifications and your most recent academic achievements.
Once you have a college degree or higher education, you can usually remove your high school information unless it’s relevant to the position you’re applying for.
3. Shopping Lists and Fluff
One of the quickest ways to decide if something should be on your resume is to ask yourself a few simple questions:
Does this statement show I can add value or solve problems in this role?
Does this statement make me stand out from the competition for this role?
Those two questions are a great way to give your resume the quality check that might be the difference between an interview and no interview.
If you’ve looked at the statement or paragraph and the answer to both of those questions is no, then either you need to write it differently or remove it altogether and pick something more valuable to highlight.
4. Seriously Outdated or Incorrect Information
Outdated and incorrect information has no place on your resume. If you have experiences or skills that are no longer relevant to your current career goals, it’s time to remove them. The same goes for information that’s irrelevant to the job you’re applying for.
It always surprises me when I read a resume and the career objective (more on that later) states something like” I’m passionate about building a career in Finance,” when the role applied for is in Sales! Don’t be that person.
5. Every Personal Hobby or Interest
While including personal hobbies and interests can help you showcase your personality, be selective. The best hobbies and interests are those that demonstrate skills that align with the job or values that align with the company.
6. Objective Statement/ Career Objective
Objective statements and career objectives are a thing of the past. Instead, they should be replaced with a solid professional summary highlighting your skills, experience, and what you can offer to the employer.
There’s no need to include references directly on your resume. You can provide them when requested later in the hiring process. There’s also no need to state that references are available upon request.
8. Generic Skills
Avoid listing too many overly general skills like “good communication skills” or “team player.” Instead, focus on specific accomplishments clearly that demonstrate those skills.
9. Too Much Detail
While showcasing your achievements is vital, avoid going into excessive detail about tasks. A well-written resume focuses on results and benefits.
10. Long Paragraphs
If your resume is full of lengthy paragraphs and big blocks of writing, it’s time to remove them. Instead, use bullet points and concise sentences to make your resume easier to scan and read by someone with limited time.
11. Inconsistent Formatting
Ensure that your resume formatting is consistent throughout your resume, including font styles, sizes, bullet points, and headings.
12. Unexplained Employment Gaps
If you have employment gaps, it’s best to address them briefly in your cover letter or resume rather than leaving them unexplained.
13. Non-Professional Email Addresses
Finally, keep your email address professional.
I’ve seen all sorts when it comes to email addresses. But while I found some of them genuinely amusing, it’s best to ensure that your contact information, including your email address, is professional and appropriate for job-related communications.