7 Things To Leave Off Your Resume
1. An objective statement. Rather, focus on highlighting your primary qualifications in a short summary at the top of your resume. The employer can quickly scan this information and determine whether or not to read the rest of your resume. Most resumes are scanned for five seconds, so you want your best strengths to stand out at the top.
2. Unrelated awards, hobbies, activities, or interests. Definitely include interests and awards that support the position you are seeking as well as the qualities that might be desired in the position you are seeking. However, be sure everything is related to the position you are pursuing. Leave off personal and unrelated information.
3. Lists of duties and tasks for each job. Rather than listing your job description or duties, focus on your key accomplishments in each position. You can optionally start your experience description with a short summary of your position, which might include number of people supervised, $ budget managed, and key areas of responsibility. List your accomplishments or results underneath the description quantifying as much as possible. Use action verbs and select accomplishments that had a large impact on the organization or are most relevant to the position you are seeking.
4. Excessive experience. Include no more than 15-20 years of experience and leave off anything prior than that.
5. Excessive detail. Your resume is a summary of your experience and should be no longer than two pages (for someone with extensive experience) and one page for entry level or mid-career. Remember, your resume will be scanned in five seconds. If it can’t be summarized in that time it may likely not be read at all.
6. Grammar, spelling, formatting errors. Please proofread your resume several times and have someone else do this for you as well. I’ve reviewed resumes with spelling errors that have also stated, “strong attention to detail.” The errors on the page are contradictory. You are putting your best foot forward with your resume, be sure it’s polished!
7. Heavy blocks of text with no white space or formatting. Employers spend very little time initially reviewing a stack of resumes. Your resume should be scannable. That is, easy to read with key points standing out. Use numbers to quantify accomplishments, bold related job titles and section headings, use the same font throughout, and bullet point accomplishments vs. writing a long block of text.
Read more on how to write a resume.
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