What’s NOT in your resume is almost as important in making that all important first impression as what IS in there. Your resume will probably be one of many received, so give yourself the best chance at getting noticed for all the right reasons!
As a resume writer, people often ask me why I don’t include certain information. Here’s a quick list of what I never include and why.
Career Objective: Don’t waste words stating what you want. Put yourself in the employers’ shoes. Your resume needs to scream “What’s in it for me?” from their perspective. We suggest including a Career Overview that provides a snapshot of you, your relevant qualifications, skills and experience and the value you could bring to the role.
Lies: Never exaggerate your responsibilities or achievements. The interviewer may use your resume content as a basis for interview questions so don’t make statements that you can’t talk about or back up in more detail.
Photo: Unless you are a model or an actor, it’s not necessary. Since it is discriminatory to hire or not hire someone based on their looks, including a photo could be a distraction. Some recruiters even go so far as culling resumes with photos.
Quirky Email Addresses: Having a 007 or Catwoman email address might be fun but it just isn’t professional. Create an email address containing your first and last name/initials – or the best combination of these you can achieve.
Personal Blogs, Facebook or Twitter Accounts: If you have a Linkedin profile, include a link, but never point employers to personal social media accounts. They will often find something not to like – and if they wanted to, they could probably find it on their own anyway. Don’t tempt fate and always exclude these.
Unfinished Degrees: Especially if they were more than a couple of years ago – fair enough if you put study on hold for personal reasons but not if it was 10 years ago – it could highlight commitment issues in the employer’s mind so I recommend excluding it altogether. For study currently underway – always state your ‘anticipated completion date’ so the employer knows how far along you are.
High School Details: Unless you have just left school, it’s not necessary. If you have tertiary qualifications, or some work history behind you, there is no need to include high school information.
Personal Information: It’s not necessary to include age, height, weight, marital status, children, health, religious, cultural or political associations so don’t waste space by doing so.
Spelling or Grammatical Errors: Goes without saying really, but this is a big one. Always triple check your content and don’t submit an application with mistakes. Again, recruiters report a big reason to cull is spelling or grammatical errors.
You don’t usually get a second chance to make a first impression. Your resume is your first step in the door – if you don’t put your best foot forward, your physical foot may never make it in that door!