When creating your resume, you may think, “The more information, the better.” However, resumes should be short, easily-read documents that showcase your talents in as little time as possible. Remember, recruiters are sifting through hundreds of resumes similar to yours, and having a standout resume is one of the best ways to get your name to stick in a recruiter’s head. Here are five things that you should exclude from your resume to ensure a chance at an interview.
1. Boring Format
First and foremost, submitting a bland and unformatted resume is one of the worst things you can do to impress a recruiter. Depending on the job you’re targeting, different formats will work for different industries. For a job in the creative industry, having a format that matches your skills and style is a great way to get a leg-up on the competition. If you’re looking for a job in business, strong lines and a professional layout is the way to go.
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2. Redundant Skills
Today, certain skills are a given for any position. In an office setting, all applicants are expected to know basic computer skills, like navigation, typing, Internet usage, and Microsoft Office package.
When creating your resume, try to avoid mentioning skills that are simply not impressive. If, under your “skills” section, you have “Basic Understanding of Microsoft Office”, consider mentioning the use of Microsoft Office in your job experience section instead. Most skills can be marketed to a recruiter, but making your skills unique is essential for a great resume.
3. Vague Job Descriptions
Crafting descriptions of your previous work experience is almost like a form of art. Relevant jobs are sometimes difficult to explain, especially when the product or service you delivered is intangible. Recruiters do not read and take in your resume slowly with time to interpret vague descriptions.
Generally speaking, a recruiter will take about 7 seconds to decide whether or not to keep your resume or throw it in the garbage. Try to make your descriptions as quantifiable as possible.
4. Irrelevant Experience
Not all of your past experiences should make it on to your resume. In fact, crafting a resume with specific experience for each job application is the best practice when it comes to choosing which of your skills to showcase. If you’re applying to jobs with different descriptions, reading those descriptions and tailoring your experience to each using keywords, would catch a recruiter’s eye in no time.
If you have recent retail experience, but you’re applying to a Business Analyst position, try to use another past experience that is more relevant to the position. This can range from projects to organizations you were involved with, just as long as it’s in the same field as your target job.
5. Old Experience
There is also experience that is too old to be put on a resume. Try not to reach back past 7-10 years for work experience on your resume, since that makes you seem outdated. If that experience is absolutely vital to you and your story (like your college education or an in-date certification), you can include it, but make sure to paint it in a quantifiable light.
With these tips, you should be able to avoid most of the common pitfalls of resumes, making your portfolio far more likely to catch the attention of a future employer.