We regularly discuss what should be included in a resume, but we rarely talk about what to leave off. There are several elements continually added to resumes which may be harming candidates chances of landing an interview. If you are wanting to create a resume that says ‘hire me,’ then every word, number, line and achievement needs to be carefully considered.
We have included seven commonly overlooked things that you should remove from your resume, and why.
1. Irrelevant Hobbies and Interests:
Love sports, camping, stamp collecting or gardening? Everyone has a hobby, and most people think that the more unique it is, the more it will make them stand out from other candidates. Hiring managers won’t care about how you spend your free time, at least not immediately. They have deadlines and large piles of resumes to review, and right now, they’re just focused on finding candidates who meet the requirements.
It is okay to include your hobby or volunteering role if it’s related to the position you’re applying for though.
2. Too Many Soft Skills:
Quite often you’ll be told to include soft skills as they are useful as transferable skills. However, too many candidates overdo it with the soft skills, and hiring managers are very aware of this common ploy, so you might lose credibility when you start listing too many.
It’s generally recommended that you include more hard skills than soft skills. For the soft skills that you do include, make sure they are demonstrated and not just stated.
3. Your Professional Headshot:
Unless you want to be chosen as the leading actor for a big screen movie, you don’t need to include a headshot. Unfortunately, there are potential drawbacks to doing so, such as leading to unconscious bias. Whether it’s the way you dress, your gender, race, or just how old you look, these are all things that can potentially impact a recruiter’s decision-making, even if it’s done unintentionally.
There’s a small possibility that the photo can affect your resume format too, leading to technical difficulties when it goes through applicant tracking systems.
4. Personal Pronouns:
Surprisingly, many candidates still make the mistake of using personal pronouns including “I,” “me,” and “we” in their resume. Leaving out personal pronouns is simple-it’s your resume, so it’s already implied that everything on it is about you. Instead of writing, “I managed 5 employees,” you can write “effectively managed 5 employees.”
5. The Wrong Kind of Email:
Hiring managers want candidates who are at least somewhat tech-savvy, and that means not having an email address from an outdated account or one that includes unusual or inappropriate wording. When in doubt, just stick with a combination of your first and last name with a Gmail or Outlook address.
6. Your Mailing Address:
Including your mailing address on your resume can still be considered standard practice. But if you’re looking to relocate and applying to out-of-state jobs, it may be wise to leave it out, especially because some employers only want to consider local candidates. Recruiters don’t need to know exactly where you live during the early stages of the hiring process. Instead, consider noting that you intend to relocate.
7. Older Job Positions:
Unless you’re a recent graduate or a senior executive with decades of experience, you should include no more than four or five positions that span no more than 10 to 15 years. The older the position (unless it was at a big, well-known company, or is closely related to the job you want), the less hiring managers will care about it. Rather than dive into outdated work experience, use that precious resume space to flesh out the details of your most recent jobs and accomplishments.
There are many factors that need to be considered when creating the perfect resume. We have had extensive experience with assisting 1000s of candidates over the years and can offer a tailor-made resume suitable for you and your dream job. Feel free to get in touch today to find out more about the services we offer.