Writing an eye-catching resume is arguably the most crucial step toward finding your dream job. A resume is designed to list your qualifications in a clear and condensed manner, so that a hiring manager can get a speedy understanding of who you are and why you are worthy for consideration. Indeed, when it comes to resumes, conciseness is crucial. This is because, according to a now widely cited study by The Ladders, recruiters spend just six seconds on average reviewing resumes before reaching an initial decision to consider them or screen them out. Consequently, if you cannot market your qualifications in this miniscule amount of time, chances are you'll be missing out on some great opportunities.
It's important, therefore, to outline only details that are 100 percent necessary. Many hopeful candidates will include information that is superfluous and space-consuming, causing hiring managers to become bored and disillusioned. Don't let that happen to you. Review the list below of what not to use in your document - you may be surprised to find some of the following on your own resume:
1. Long paragraphs
Recruiters essentially scan resumes for eye-catching information. If you include lengthy paragraphs the recruiter will be less inclined to read through everything in order to source the information that they really want, the Muse explained. Use a simple bullet-point format instead, keep each statement as brief - but detailed - as possible.
This extends to all elements of a resume, including an objective statement (or purpose statement). "Overly broad objective statements hurt more than the help – an objective statement may work against you unless it speaks directly to the position you are applying for," notes Kate Harris, Division Director of Beacon Hill's HR division in Boston.
2. Overly creative formatting
We live in the digital age, and many candidates are looking to get creative in terms of how their resume is presented. Some job hopefuls may include photos, social media links, or even deliver their resume via video. While this certainly helps in certain cases and across particular industries - think media - such a move may be a hindrance at more traditional corporations. This is because, as Time Magazine pointed out, hiring managers are usually looking for crucial details quickly - your name, job history and education are examples. If your resume doesn't follow a simple format where such details are easily identifiable, the recruiter could become frustrated and move on.
3. Unprofessional email addresses
If you've kept your first email address from middle school - one that is amusing or references pop culture in any way - it's time to ditch it. As the Muse argued, such addresses look incredibly unprofessional and even childish. Create an email account especially for job applications - don't use your work email address - and keep it straightforward. Your name and a number will usually suffice.
4. Every job
Include only the work experience that is most relevant to the position you are applying for, Monster.com detailed. You do not need to include every job you've ever had since high school. It takes up space and it's unnecessary. Recruiters want to see the experience that makes you most qualified for the role they have on offer. After all, if you are looking for a new and exciting position in marketing, why does the hiring manager need to know about that time you flipped burgers at your local fast food joint? Of course, use your discretion. If you are applying for a first job or have little work experience, including such details can be helpful.
"Include only the work experience that is most relevant to the position."
5. Anything personal
Asking questions pertaining to personal or protected characteristics, such as age, marital status or religion is now prohibited by law during the interview process. Indeed, if you find a recruiter asking for such personal details, you probably have grounds for a lawsuit. It is therefore, as Business Insider pointed out, completely unnecessary to enclose such information on your resume.
6. Too many hobbies
While it is fairly routine to note some brief information about hobbies and interests on a resume, don't go overboard, Time Magazine advised. Stating that you like running, long walks on the beach and reading books, for example, adds little weight to your resume. Not to mention, it can sound dull. If you do opt to include such information, keep it short, sweet and, most importantly, unique. it can work in your favor if you can list one or two points about yourself that might stick in the recruiter's mind.
7. Graduation dates
While all signifiers of age are perhaps unavoidable - your resume should include the dates of your work history - one way to throw recruiters off the scent is removing your graduation date, Business Insider noted. Age discrimination is unfortunately a persistent problem in the business world, and if you enclose vital dates that reveal your age, you might find yourself the victim of age bias - something that is particularly difficult to prove prior to an in-person meeting.
Enclosing the details of three or more references in the body of resume obviously takes up a lot of room. Monster.com argued that it's a good idea to remove references entirely from your resume, and instead provide the information on a separate page.
It is true, countless people will embellish information on their resumes. However, such exaggerations, and not to mention outright lies, put your job search in jeopardy. You will, after all, be providing references who could spill the beans about any falsehoods you provide. In addition, keep in mind that lying on your resume can come back to bite you, even if it doesn't come out in the interview process. Employers can (and have) terminated employees after they had been hired because they were found to be lying about their education, their skills, or their work history.
10. Vague details
Successful resumes will provide hard facts and examples. For example, "I increased sales by 50 percent during the second quarter" or "I helped grow team production by 70 percent." If you are unable to provide at least several concrete examples of your achievements, you could be in trouble. Vague descriptions of your duties in prior positions will do little to impress the hiring manager.
This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group