Employers must look through resumes quickly to find a quality candidate in today’s competitive market. About 75% of hiring managers use applicant tracking system (ATS) to help them with the hiring process. Career experts say hiring managers spend at least six seconds looking at a resume before deciding to continue with a candidate.
Your job application must pass the six-second test and the ATS, so it’s essential to include relevant experiences to convey your value as an employee. Here are some common things to remove from your resume so you can stand out from other job seekers.
1. Full Street Address
In the past, writing your complete street address on your resume was standard practice. Due to privacy concerns and the risk of identity theft, don’t include your exact street address.
You can include your city and state to show you are a local candidate for local jobs. If you intend to apply for a job outside your local area, it is okay to leave off your location so you don’t unintentionally exclude yourself from consideration.
2. Unprofessional Email Address
Using your personal email for your job search can be seen as unprofessional, especially if the email address is offensive. Having a professional email makes it easy for potential employers to find you in their inboxes.
You can create a professional email address using your first and last names with a free email service such as Gmail. If your entire name is not available in Gmail, check for another email provider like Outlook.
3. Excessive Personal Information
A resume should never contain personal information such as age, height, weight, marital status, nationality, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or religious beliefs. There is no need to include irrelevant hobbies and interests unless they are specific to the position.
Instead, concentrate on thinking of relevant experiences and accomplishments to put on your resume and cover letter. You can explain more of your experiences in your job interview.
4. Non-Business Social Media Profiles
Adding your LinkedIn profile link to your resume can help recruiters see your professional brand and evaluate you as a potential candidate. However, do not include any social media profiles that are not for your job search or professional goals.
Build an online, mobile-friendly portfolio or blog for recruiters to see your work from any device if you are in the creative fields. A GitHub profile can showcase your projects and coding skills for those in web development, making you look more credible to technical recruiters.
5. Career Objective Statement
A career objective statement should not appear on your resume since it doesn’t help hiring managers understand what kind of job you’re looking for or why you’re suitable for it.
Instead, write a professional summary for your resume. It explains why you’re a great candidate for the position in a few sentences about your career and measurable achievements.
6. High School Information
Unless you’re a recent high school graduate, you don’t need to include your high school in the education part of your resume. This rule is subject to a couple of exceptions, including if you wish to emphasize an accomplishment from your high school years.
High school students sometimes gain valuable work experience while still in school. You may include any work experience you gained when you started your own business or a non-profit organization in high school, and it has survived to this day.
7. Every Job in Your Work History
You don’t need to include every job you’ve had since you were young. Since these jobs occurred so long ago, they are not only outdated, but they make it difficult to maintain a proper resume length and expose you to age discrimination.
If you are further along in your career, keep relevant jobs and experiences from the last 10 to 15 years on your resume. All irrelevant jobs can be included in a condensed section called “Earlier Work History” on your resume.
8. Unmeasurable Soft Skills
If your resume has a skills section, it should focus on hard skills and quantifiable achievements rather than soft skills. Most candidates overstate their soft skills, so you risk losing credibility with the hiring manager if you start mentioning too many.
For example, instead of claiming you’re skilled at social media, you can mention a hard skill and accomplishment such as, “Monitored consumer engagement and responded to 100+ customer comments, resulting in an X percent rise in post engagement”. Read the job description carefully and match and quantify your experiences to the criteria.
9. List of References
When writing a resume, you don’t need to list your references or include the phrase “References available upon request.” This information isn’t required at this stage of the application process. Hiring managers know how to ask for your references during a job interview.
Make Your Resume Impactful
Removing these things from your resume shows you’re an effective job candidate who knows how to use your resume to showcase your value to your potential employer.
Once you finish your resume, you can start a productive job search with JobsFuel’s free job search resources. Aside from the job search tool, you can find a wealth of information such as interview preparation and other career fields for you to explore.