There is likelihood you have overloaded your resume with lots of irrelevant stuff. Take time and review that important job search document taking note of the following 20 things that you need strike out so that you can increase your chances of standing out from the sea of other job applicants before the hiring managers.
1. Irrelevant work experiences
Include work experience if it really showcases additional skills that can translate to the position you’re applying for.
Do not try to force correlations or relevance in your previous roles and the role at hand if there isn’t any.
However it is worth noting that work experience that might not appear to be directly relevant to the job at hand might show another dimension, depth, ability, or skill that actually is relevant or applicable.
2. Personal details
This definitely was the standard in the past but right now it is irrelevant. Too much personal information could expose you to discrimination even when you are unaware. Avoid information such as your marital status, religious preference, tribe/race or Social Security number.
3. Multiple phone numbers
Just include your one consistent cell phone number on your resume. This gives you control on responding to all incoming calls and voice mails. Avoid including your relatives phone details hoping that if the recruiter can’t get you, then he/she can call the other number which belongs to who knows!!
4. Your hobbies
I don’t know who came up with idea in the first place. No one really cares about your hobbies during a recruitment exercise since it offers no value to the process or the employer. Save your typing space and time by avoiding the hobby thing.
5. Blatant lies
It’s amazing just how candidates blatantly lie on their resumes hoping no eye will pick out the lie.
Do not ascribe yourself career victories you never won. Do not take yourself (through the resume of course), to learning and certification institutions you never attended in the first place.
Do not try to bridge the required qualification gaps with lies instead, concentrate on the skills you can offer, rather than the skills you that you don’t have.
In my role as a recruiter and interviewer, I’m yet to come across a candidate who fits the qualification bill 100%. Don’t try to be the first one by lying.
6. Too much text, bullets and inconsistent formatting
Avoid the temptation of using overly small fonts in a bid to fit your resume details on one page. This will fail you miserably.
Also avoid using dense blocks of text and using too many bullet points. The recruiters’ eyes will just glaze over the over bulleted points.
Lots of white space and no more than a 0.8 margin is great.
Use bullets only to draw attention to the most important information.
The best format is the one that will make it easiest for the hiring manager to scan your résumé and still be able to pick out your key qualifications and career goals.
Once you pick a format, stick with it.
7. Details that point to your age
Date of birth, graduation date etc. All this could point out to your age which could expose you to discrimination.
Do not give this information on your resume until when the employing entity ask you to. This gives you time to reach out to your referees and alert them.
9. Personal pronouns
Your résumé shouldn’t include the words “I,” “me,” “she,” or “my,”
Avoid presenting your résumé in the third or first person since it’s already understood that everything on your résumé is about you and your experiences.”
10. Unprofessional email address
Do you still have this kind of email addresses; email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com etc. Well discard them immediately.
Get a new professional email address. It’s free. It only takes a minute or two and you will look professional.
11. Your current business email and phone details
This sounds like putting a rope round your career neck.
Do you really want the hiring manager to call you at work through the switchboard operator?
Do you know your current employer can monitor all you email and phone conversations? Do not give your employer a reason to be annoyed with you. The results won’t be good.
12. Company-specific jargon
Don’t include terms in your resume that only you and your current office colleagues or certain individuals in a given industry can understand. Use plain language well understood by all and sundry
13. Dinosaur-like work experience and education
Work experience gained 15 years ago does not bring much value to the recruitment table. Avoid it. Similarly, avoid dates on education and certifications that are older than 15 years.
14. Remuneration information
Do not address your desired salary in a résumé. “This document is intended to showcase your professional experience and skills. Salary comes later in the interview process.”
Including your current salary charge out rates may not be received well by the hiring manager.
15. Fancy and calligraphic fonts
Do not try to make your resume look flashy and sexy by using flashy, fancy and curly-tailed fonts. It was not meant to look so.
Recruitment studies show that such fonts are harder to read and the recruiter absorbs less information about you.
16. Irritating buzzwords
Avoid phrases like, “best of breed,” “go-getter,” “think outside the box,” “synergy,” and “people pleaser.” They are sure turn-offs to hiring managers. They mean a lot of nothing.
Instead employ action verbs like: “achieved,” “managed,” “resolved,” and “launched” — but again, use them in moderation with factual justification.
17. Reasons you left a company or position
Your resume should not be the document for explaining your career transition. It should speak of your capabilities and successes.
Use your interview to address this concern.
18. Your college results
You have been out of school and have been working for the last three years. Your grades aren’t so relevant.
The exemption would if you are a new college graduate.
19. Reason why you want the job
Include this in your cover letter and not the resume. Your résumé is not the place to start explaining why you’d be a great fit or why you want the job.
Your skills and qualifications should be able to do that for you — and if they don’t, then your résumé is either in bad shape, or this isn’t the right job for you. Look for another one.
20. Including short-term employment
Avoid including a job on your résumé if you only held the position for a short period of time. Similarly you should avoid including job details of entities where you were let go from or didn’t like.