Along with the interview, constructing a resume is probably the most stress-inducing part of a job search. The pressure of making a good impression leads many people to try and cram as much personal information as possible into an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper. Unfortunately, hirers often overlook overloaded resumes because they need to move quickly and efficiently through the hiring process. With that in mind, here are five things you can remove from a resume to make it more readable and powerful.
1. An Objective Statement
It used to be a no-brainer to start each and every resume with a statement of your objective as a jobseeker. It was viewed as kind of a written “elevator speech.” The reality is that employers are not nearly as interested in what you want as what you can provide. Ditch that objective statement and consider an “experience summary” – a sentence or two about the skills you’ve used in previous roles that would translate well to the position you’re applying for.
2. Extra Phone Numbers
As of 2019, the percentage of American homes with a landline had fallen to 31%, according to the Pew Research Center. The vast majority of us only make phone calls with a cellphone, and if we’re being honest, many would prefer to communicate via text and never have to talk on the phone at all. The point is – extra phone numbers are easy weight to throw overboard from your resume.
3. Information That Could Lead to Discrimination
In a perfect world, all hiring would be fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory. There are tons of laws and labor regulations that attempt to eradicate it, but hiring bias is still a thing. To help ensure it doesn’t hurt your chances, avoid putting your age, sex, religion, marital status, and ethnicity in your resume.
4. Your GPA
As we mentioned earlier, employers are most interested in the specific skills you possess that make you a good fit for the job. They frankly don’t care what your GPA was, nor are they concerned with what academic awards you accumulated. Get rid of that extraneous material, and focus on your skills and experience.
Including references in your resume has kind of gone the way of the objective statement. It’s not that employers won’t check references – a vast majority of them do – but reference checks usually take place much later in the hiring process. And a list of references never got anyone an interview. It’s best to keep those in your pocket and keep your resume “lean and mean.”
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