The key to getting a job is your resume, it’s as simple as that. It’s your resume that gets you past the 10 second initial fit test. It’s your resume that gives you speaking points during your in person interview, allowing you to easily identify skills you’ve developed in past jobs and explain how they align with the position’s qualifications. But if a resume is so important then why do many candidates not take the extra time to research what should and should not be included in it?
Below we’ve outlined 5 things that a solid resume does not include, so be sure to take the few extra minutes to reread your resume and make sure you’re not including unnecessary things that take away from the purpose of a resume.
I. Too Many Bullet Points; Each position that you decide to include on your resume should have no more than 3 bullet points describing the skills you’ve learned. More likely than not a skill you’ve developed at one job you’ve also learned at another, so there is no need to repeat. Space on a resume is valuable so be sure you’re utilizing every line to showcase something different about yourself. Limiting the space you have to talk about a past position forces you to only include the most important skills, or the skills most relevant to the position you’re applying for.
II. Irrelevant Work Experience; In addition to there being a limit on the number of lines you’re given to describe a position, you’re also limited to what jobs you can include on your resume. Only showcase the jobs that allowed you to develop skills that are applicable to qualifications that the position you’re applying for requires. To help you identify those positions reread the job description of the position you’re currently interested in, circle the qualifications you meet, and next to it write down the job associated with that skill. You should see the same few jobs appear more than once, and those are the ones that you want to include on your resume.
III. Personal Details; Once again, the more information that is on your resume the more distracted the reader will be. It’s important that you aren’t including irrelevant information that could take the readers attention away from what is actually important such as your past experience. That being said no one needs to know your marital status, religious preferences, age, or what you look like (so do not include a photo of yourself). None of this should matter to the person when considering whether or not to hire you. What does matter is your knowledge and understanding of the position.
IV. References; If the employer wants to speak to your references they will ask, but unless you get through the initial fit scan this information is a waste of space. Save this space for text that will set you apart from the competition and allow you to sell yourself. Additionally you will want the chance to tell your references ahead of time that a future employer might be calling so that they’re not caught off guard.
V. An Explanation of Why You Want the Job; Hopefully by this point we’ve gotten it through your head that a resume needs to be clear, simple, and informative of what you have to offer. A resume is no place to explain why you think you’re the perfect candidate, that’s what cover letters are for. Again, your resume gets your foot in the door, your cover letter gets you an interview, and then it’s up to you to seal the deal.
Making these 5 small adjustments could do wonders for your resume. Click here to learn other ways you can improve your resume!