For every one solid resume, there can be dozens that don’t match. Not hearing back from a hiring manager is usually because the resume simply contained content that doesn’t align with a company’s vision of the perfect candidate. It’s also not unusual for hiring managers to dismiss a resume simply because it didn’t impress them. It can be trying going through piles of resumes looking for one great candidate. That’s why your resume has about six seconds to prove you should be granted an interview. You’re probably perfect for the job but that single typo or your formatting being off blew it for you. No one wants that to happen to you. Here are a series of items you want to make sure you leave out of your resume so you don’t end up on any hiring manager’s “NO” stack.
Get rid of irrelevant experiences.
Only newcomers should include their early job experience in food service or at a movie theater. Anyone with five or more years of experience should only be including experiences that relate to the job they are applying for. Focus on roles that contribute to your desired career trajectory and involved experiences pertinent to the job you’re applying for. There’s a big difference between clutter and detail.
Keep it strictly professional.
While at one time it might have been standard to include religious preferences, marital status and other personal information, today you can save it for Facebook. None of that is relevant to pretty much any prospect and in a lot of cases it’s information no potential employer can legally ask about. Your age is not important to include on your resume either.
Use your Career Objective thoughtfully.
A Career Objective statement can be a great way to introduce a resume, especially if it points out a common theme amid varied experiences or explains why your job history has prepared you to take a step up. But you should either say something relevant or leave it out of your resume. When you start out with Looking for a job/opportunity/experience … , you’re stating the obvious. Instead, summarize your long term goals and what a new position would mean in that regard.
Skip the Hobbies and Interests sections.
While they are great conversation starters in interviews, no one really cares if their potential software developer likes to tend their garden. Again, this is something you should leave for newcomers that have to impress hiring managers with less than more. Instead, you may benefit from a Volunteer Positions section that demonstrates how you’ve used your interests to give back to your community.
Skip any inclusion or mention of references.
Your references won’t matter until later in the application process. Including them on your resume or even adding an “upon request” line is merely using up page space needlessly. Besides, it’s rare for any employer to investigate your background before they interview you. If your potential employer requests references with the application, send them in a separate document.
Do not use personal pronouns of any kind.
Cover letters can be as personal as it gets, but typically the resume should not include I, my or me. It’s already understood the resume is about you. Instead, keep your language straightforward and brief: Oversaw five major accounts; brought in and average of ten new clients per month; boosted revenue by 10% year-over-year.
Create a professional email address.
MackLover@gmail might get you the ladies, but it will not get you a job. Open a new account with a sound name that lets hiring managers know you’re ready to get to work. For your personal safety, you also don’t want to put any current business contact info on your resume. The naive have done so and then had to explain to managers or HR why they’re getting calls from other employers at work. And a lot of systems are monitored, including email. Avoid the grief.
Knowing what to leave out of your resume is as important as knowing what to include. Follow these guidelines, and your resume will include only the most relevant information from your work history and experience—which is exactly what potential employers are looking or.