Since it’s typical for only a handful of applicants to earn an interview after an employer has reviewed hundreds of applications, what you put on your resume is incredibly important. In many cases, it’s the one chance you’ll have to truly “wow” a hiring committee, so crafting the perfect resume should be considered an art form and nothing less.
While anyone you ask will likely have some tips about the best things to include in your resume, it’s just as important to understand what not to include. Below is a list of 5 things you should absolutely remove from your resume unless you want to give a hiring manager a good laugh and land your job application in the discard pile.
- Clearly listing contact information on your resume is a necessity, but don’t even think about including the embarrassing email address you’ve been hanging onto since high school. If you don’t have an email address that sounds professional, take a few extra minutes to set one up for free. Having trouble deciding on a new one? Simple is best. Try for some variation of your name.
- Avoid listing hobbies unless they are directly relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a computer programming job and learned C++ for fun, listing your hobby demonstrates both a passion for the field and introduces a key skill. However, avoid listing irrelevant hobbies or pastimes which might be deemed unusual. No hiring committee wants to read about the intimate details of your vintage action figure collection.
- Similarly, leave off personal details such as:
- sexual orientation
- marital status
- political affiliation
- controversial opinions
Unless you are applying to a church position or another job which directly relates to one of these details, including these kinds of personal leanings can result in a hiring team making unconscious assumptions about you before they’ve even had a chance to read the remainder of your resume or see what you’re capable of in an interview. Don’t make an employer uncomfortable from the start.
- On a more technical note, proofread your resume. Typos, grammatical errors, or even sloppy formatting can be a huge turn-off to employers who are searching for the best candidate. Even a resume full of outstanding accomplishments can be easily thrown aside if it contains any indicators of laziness. Aim for perfection, because if you don't know, employers certainly don't think you'll be likely to do so on the job.
- Hiring teams are smart, which means that they’ll know if you’re padding your resume with exaggerations or blatant lies in order to make yourself seem more qualified for a position. Don’t do this. Employers want to see what you’re capable of, not what you can make up, so focus on the skills you can Roughly 42% of surveyed employers said that they would still consider candidates who met only three of five desired qualifications for a particular job.
Recruiters will spend as little as 6 seconds reviewing your resume, so keep it relevant, keep it professional, and keep it free of mistakes! After purging your resume of the items listed above, you’ll be well on your way to making a better first impression in those crucial seconds.
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