As your first contact with a potential future employer, your resume needs to promote you as the most suitable candidate for the job. Recruiters often read through a high volume of applications for advertised roles: ensuring that yours stands out is crucial to progressing to the interview stage.
The best way to do this to keep your resume concise and relevant.
Everything on your resume should be relevant to the role advertised and what you can bring to the company you’re applying to work for. Don’t waste space on unnecessary or unprofessional information – it’s a good way to knock yourself out of the competition. Instead, ask yourself whether what you’ve written demonstrates why you’re perfect for the job.
Here are 7 things to leave out when writing your resume.
1. Personal details
The only personal details that should be on your resume are your name and contact information.
All other information is irrelevant to the job, including your date of birth – employers aren’t allowed to hire based on age, gender, religion, or additional personal information. You might think that you’re giving a snapshot of who you are, but you’re using space that could be used to highlight your suitability for the job.
Keep personal details to your name, address (just suburb, state, and postcode), phone number, and email.
2. Salary details
Don’t mention your previous or current salary. It’s unnecessary information that isn’t relevant for the recruiter trying to determine your suitability to the role. If discussing wages is essential to you, wait until you’ve reached the interview process to establish an expected salary range with the employer.
3. Clichés and buzzwords
Avoid using those popular words and phrases that appear on every resume; motivated, hard-working, great communicator, etc. When every application contains these phrases, they’re no longer stand-out traits. By finding ways to communicate how your skills can add value to the company, rather than listing them, you’ll make more of an impact.
There are keywords that you’ll need to use when addressing the selection criteria, but again, make sure that you aren’t just filling your application with buzzwords. Read your resume back to yourself to make sure their use sounds natural. If you just try to fill your resume with keywords, it will be painfully apparent to the recruiter and detrimental to your application.
4. Unprofessional email
If you wouldn’t use it on a business card, it doesn’t belong on your resume. Remember that this is the first impression that the hirer will have of you, so keep it professional. If you haven’t already got one, create a new email address that’s just your name, initials, or as close to it as possible. Gmail accounts are an option that is free, professional, and easy to use.
5. Objective statement
Resume objective statements don’t tell the recruiter what value you can bring to their business.
If your resume has an objective statement, consider replacing it with a career or professional summary. Instead of telling the company what you’re looking for in a workplace, a summary gives a brief, 3-5-line explanation of why you’re the perfect candidate.
6. Irrelevant or outdated work history
Work history included in your resume should be relevant to the role that you’re applying for and from within the last 10-15 years. For example, if you’re applying to work at a law firm, don’t include that after-school job you had at the grocery store. Likewise, unless you’re fresh out of school and without any work experience, don’t include your high school achievements.
You want everything you include on your resume to demonstrate skills and achievements relevant to your job application. That way, when the hirers skim through your work history, the value that you’ll be bringing to that specific position in their business is clear.
Unless the job ad specifies that references must be included, leave them out. Including them in your resume will take up valuable space – and referees generally aren’t contacted in the initial stage of recruiting. If the hirer calls to ask for your references, it’s a good indication of how your application is progressing.
Putting it all together
Unless specified otherwise in a job ad, your resume should only be 2-4 pages long, depending on career level and experience. Make the most of that space to put yourself ahead of the competition by cutting out the fluff. Keep it concise and relevant to the role that you’re applying for.
Want to make sure that your resume is the best it can be? Get in touch with us today! We’d love to help you write a professional resume that highlights your skills and experience and positions you as the best candidate for the job.