I have spent countless hours reviewing resumes for all sorts of positions at all sorts of different levels, and while there is a lot of conflicting information out there about how to write a resume and what to include, I can tell you with 100% certainty – do not put any of these items on your resume (or take them off right now!) if you want to keep your application out of the reject pile.
1. Ditch the irrelevant work experience and anything else that dates back to high school. I am really proud of you for beating out the competition and becoming “Head Cashier” at the local grocery store and valedictorian of your middle school class, but it’s time to move on…
2. Do not list your hobbies or interests. Let’s be clear – this is not eHarmony and no recruiter or hiring manager cares that you play baseball, enjoy cooking, reading and working on cars. We want to know information that is relevant to the job we are trying to fill.
3. Don’t give me the opportunity to know your age. It’s pure discrimination and it’s illegal, but the fact of the matter is that you may be screened out because you’re too young or too old. The best thing you can do to avoid this is remove all graduation dates and anything else that may reveal your age.
4. Erase that completely inappropriate email address and just make a new one already! I can guarantee you that regardless of qualifications I am never hiring firstname.lastname@example.org .
5. Cut out the objective statement. If you applied to the job then I assume that’s the job you want. Even worse, if you don’t listen to my advice and you insist on writing objective statements make sure it aligns with the job you applied for and not recycled from an old application.
6. Don’t write your resume in the third person, it’s just weird.
7. Don’t include references or that “References Available Upon Request” line at the end. If they aren’t available upon request how do you expect to be hired?
8. Never include personal information like marital status, religious beliefs, political affiliation or photographs. Do I really need to explain?
9. Spelling errors and grammar mistakes have no place on a resume. My recent favourite: “Experience working in a fast paste environment while paying close attention to detail.” You don’t say….
10. Forget about colour. Black ink, white paper – don’t get fancy.
If you avoid these pitfalls chances are your resume will at least be given consideration. Still feeling suck? I’m here to help. Drop me a line anytime!