I was recently asked to review a the résumé of a recent grad. I am not a HR specialist, but upon quick glance there were a few items I noticed that could be removed from his résumé, which made me think about putting it all together in a blog post.
1. Objective Statement
Ultimately, your objective is to get hired. Usually people use this section to tell the company what they are looking for in a position. Here’s the thing ladies and gents that company’s main concern isn’t what you a looking for. Also, you are taking up precious space on your résumé with an objective statement. I have heard that an executive summary or personal profile can replace the objective statement. However, I say use your cover letter to talk about yourself.
2. Passive Language
If you are updating your résumé, Google action verbs for résumé first. You want to always use action verbs when describing what you accomplished at your previous job. Now with that being said don’t just drop a bunch of fancy action verbs all over the document. Using non-conversational words doesn’t make you look smart. It makes you look like someone who spends too much time in a thesaurus.
3. A Photo
I’ve seen some creatives include photos so I don’t think this necessarily a hard no. However, there are other ways you can get employers to view your picture without having to add your photo to your résumé. Consider including the URL of your LinkedIn profile. Although, unless you’re an actor, the employer shouldn’t be judging you based on your looks.
4. A Bunch of Short-Lived or Unrelated Jobs
Your résumé is not an autobiography of every job you’ve held in life. Include the relevant ones and delete everything else. You don’t want your résumé looking disjointed. Also, employers are not interested in achievements or abilities that are not applicable to the job. Think about if you’re applying for a public relations job and all of experience is in the healthcare. One exception, is to, if possible, highlight transferable skills.
5. Really Obvious Skills
The last time I updated my résumé this was the first thing I removed. Look – proficiency in Microsoft Word and basically all of the Microsoft Office suite is kind of expected. Substitute these basic skills with less common skills or more technical skills that will make you stand out from other applicants.
6. References available upon request
You don’t need a line that states the obvious and takes up valuable real estate for the accomplishments you really want to highlight on your résumé! Like are you going to refuse to give references if they ask? The answer is no. Employers today expect you to offer references when requested, which is typically during the latter part of the interview process.
7. Personal Social Media Accounts
If you take nothing from this post. Remember this: keep it professional, people! Don’t give that hiring manager a reason to dig into your personal life. The red solo cup picture as your Instagram profile pic may not be the best idea, but don’t go broadcasting it on your résumé. At most include your LinkedIn profile and leave everything else.
Let’s chat! What has worked for you when creating and/or updating your résumé? Leave a comment below.