I remember the first ‘real’ resume that I ever created for myself. I was 18, felt invincible, and believed that I was an excellent candidate for any position. A young, energetic go getter who could make your company millions! Reality had not set in for me yet. The truth was, I was a freshman in college with entry-level experience working customer service in retail and food preparation. It should have been a red flag for me when my twenty months of work experience, mediocre high school performance and limited hobbies could be stretched out to fill nearly three whole pages, but alas I applied and applied for a new job.
Nothing ever came from those applications. What I didn’t know at that time was quality content greatly outweighed the volume of content. Experience and competencies are more critical than overall length. However so many highly qualified applicants are absolutely ruining their opportunities to land the interview by inflating the resume with superfluous information that recruiters do not care about or could even be putting them at risk for identity theft.
Often your resume is the first impression that a potential employer makes of you. Along with correct grammar, contemporary formatting and a clear presentation of your experience and abilities, it is best to omit these Top 10 resume space fillers.
1. A Photo/Images
We are all proud of the professional head shot we had taken four years ago, especially when they can run upwards of $150 or more. However the picture needs to go on LinkedIn – not on your resume. While a photo may be necessary in some professions, most jobs do not depend on a persons’ outward appearance. It is a waste of valuable space on a resume and could leave you open to bias opinions of your age or race by the person reviewing your resume.
It is great to bond with coworkers and employers over mutual interests after you have the job. When it comes to having your hobbies listed on your resume, it is best to leave them off. I love fishing, but my employer never cared about this. They cared about me giving my best effort at what I was hired to do. A recruiter is looking at a ton of resumes and mutual hobbies are not what will land you the job – recruiters are looking for someone to do the job correctly. Use this space to speak about your accomplishments in the workplace.
You are already sending an anonymous person your name, phone number and email address. Withrampant identity theft going on, no good reason exists to send everyone your complete address as well. If someone wants to hire you, they can get that information when you fill out the application. Additionally, some recruiters might dismiss you if they feel you live to far away to be able to reliably make the commute every day.
4. Objective section
Drop the objective section. You are applying for a new job, so the objective is to get a new job and the recruiter knows this. Use this space on the resume for either a brief summary or to further flush out your job descriptions.
5. Childish E-mail address
Follow your name at the top of the resume you list your contact information. If your email address is childish, it does not reflect well on you. I recommend you use some combination of your name in order to maintain a professional appearance. I also suggest you set up a free Gmail account that you only use for job searches.
6. “References Upon Request”
This is an outdated and tired line. Employers know that if you want the job you will provide references if they would like them. Also, your friends and colleagues will not appreciate you sending out their name and phone number to random people. But be prepared to deliver those references at the interview; type out a list to provide to a hiring manager if they request them.
7. Outdated or Assumed Skills
Say you just graduated college and your only job was as a customer service representative. It is a waste of space to list ‘Customer Service’ as a skill. It is assumed based on your job title that you are skilled in customer service. Instead, explain a benefitthe employer received from your customer service skills.
8. Irrelevant Awards/Accomplishments
You earned our varsity letter during our freshman year of high school and that’s great! Unfortunately fifteen years later it is not important to the position you just applied for. Remove this waste of space and further explain how your most recent experiences can benefit the company you have applied with. If you graduated college, do not even bother listing your high school.
9. Personal Social Media Accounts
The only social media that belongs on a resume is your LinkedIn profile. Employers are going to run a background check on you and likely review your social media accounts. Do you really want to be giving a nameless recruiter all of your personal information right up front? While some select caveats exist for this rule, the vast majority of applicants should only be listing their LinkedIn profile.
10. Anything that does not directly relate to the job you are applying for
This is a follow up to point seven. A resume should be targeted to the position you are applying for. Leave any unnecessary information off the resume. A recruiter is reviewing hundreds of resumes. Deliver the information that is most critical to the position you are applying for. Everything else can be discussed in the interview.