Whether you’re on the hunt for a new job or not, it never hurts to have a current resume in your back pocket. If you’re still using the same template from when you were fresh out of college, you will want to change the structure of your resume a bit once you’ve been a part of the workforce for a few years. Recruiters and hiring managers usually only spend a few minutes tops sorting through the large pile of resumes they receive, so you want your resume to be short, succinct, and to the point. This means that knowing what to leave off your resume can be almost as important as knowing what to include. As someone who has made many new hires over the years, I’ve compiled a list of six things I recommend removing from your resume. Check them out below…
1. A career objective.
Many templates will tell you to include an objective at the very top of your resume. But nowadays hiring managers will tell you this is a waste of space. Your overall goals should either be obvious by looking at your career trajectory, or you should include this type of statement as a part of your cover letter.
2. Longwinded descriptions.
Recruiters and hiring managers have dozens of resumes to go through each day and want to be able to do so efficiently. With that in mind, be aware of their time and steer clear of long descriptions of each position you’ve held. Instead, catch their attention with short and succinct bullet points, backed up by numbers and data. If you and wrote 5-10 articles per week in your position as features editor of a magazine, share those specifics. If during your tenure as social media manager, you grew a brand’s Instagram by 50,000 followers, be sure to mention that!
3. Your GPA and internships.
Your GPA is no longer relevant if you’re not a recent college grad. The same goes for internships, with the exception of a highly prestigious internship like the White House or Vogue magazine. Similarly, leave off your graduation year. It’s not really relevant and can potentially lead to inadvertent age-based discrimination by making you seem more junior than you actually are.
4. Skills that everyone has.
There is no need to state that you are “proficient in Microsoft office.” Similarly, using clichés like saying you’re a “team player” or “highly organized” are superfluous and will not help you land an interview.
5. Anything controversial.
In many cases, including volunteer work on your resume can work in your favor. If you regularly help out at your local dog rescue or spend every Sunday morning feeding the homeless, that will signal to hiring managers that you are a well-rounded and generous person, with passions and values outside of work. But if you spend your free time volunteering on a political campaign or anything else that has the potential to spark controversy, it’s best to leave it off of your resume.
6. Anything that pushes your resume onto a second page.
You want to do everything within your power (other than using a teeny tiny font) to keep your resume on a single page. Keep in mind that your resume only needs to cover either the past 10 years of your career or your last four jobs, if that helps to remain within the page limit.
What additional career advice would you like me to share?
Let me know below!