When it comes to your resume, be sure to leave off long paragraphs without bullets, statements in your objective summary, general descriptions of duties without reference to how you added value, and more.
Sometimes less is more. When it comes to your resume, there are just as many things to leave off as items you should highlight. What are some of the best practices out there for creating a concise resume that doesn’t overshare?
TMI—Avoid These Resume Mistakes
Employers are looking for an excuse to throw your resume out of the applicant pile. Including too much or the wrong information on your resume can disqualify you from even getting an interview. We know that recruiters generally spend a short time on the first pass of resumes, so make sure you avoid these resume mistakes to make it to the next round of the interview process:
- Long paragraphs with no bullets make your details too difficult to scan. Dense text, long sentences, and wordiness all make a resume easy to discard.
- A summary or objective at the top of the resume is pretty old school. The hiring team already knows you’re looking for a new job, so a summary becomes a waste of space. Focus instead on what you can provide to the employer, not what you want in your next job.
- Generalities such as a laundry list of duties with no quantifiable results. Your resume should be action-oriented. Use each bullet to describe how you added value to the organization. Skip over phrases like “duties included” and go straight to what you accomplished.
- Leading with “I.” Instead of saying “I did this,” lead with an action word such as “Led,” “Analyzed,” “Created,” or “Reduced.” This packs more of a punch and cuts down on unnecessary words that bulk up a resume and bore the hiring team.
- Empty language that is flowery or unnecessary is also a bad idea. Every word on your resume should be carefully selected for factual information that shows your skills.
- Grammatical errors and typos suggest that you lack the attention to detail most jobs require. It’s always a good idea to have a friend or colleague review your resume—and that’s after you run it through a good spell checker.
- Personal information such as age, physical characteristics, or place of birth. Employers should be careful not to base their hiring decisions on any of these attributes, so make sure you don’t overshare.
- Hobbies or interests that have nothing to do with the job you’re seeking. While there’s an argument that a lack of prior job experience may make your volunteerism relevant, unless the side activity has some sort of relevance to the job skills needed, it might be best to leave that off your resume.
- Academic achievements such as a GPA score, particularly if the score is below 3.0, or a mention of the dean’s list, particularly if you were only on there for a couple of semesters. If you hit the dean’s list every time, that’s impressive, but otherwise, it’s just wasted space.
- Photographs or resume graphics are unnecessary unless you’re applying for a modeling or graphic design job. Employers worry about showing favoritism, so placing your photo on a resume seems a little risky. You can put your LinkedIn profile URL on your resume or give them a link to your website or portfolio.
Placing the right information on your resume is important. Many resumes are discarded because they have too much of the wrong information. IES recruiters are standing by for a quick resume review. If you’re looking to make a change in the New Year, contact our team.