When a company starts looking to fill a position, they can go through literally hundreds, if not thousands of applications and resumes before they find the right candidate. As a general rule, your resume will likely get less than two minutes of time spent on it if it doesn’t have anything eye-catching on it. Therefore, you definitely don’t want to fill your resume with pointless “filler” information. In order to really make your resume as strong as possible and stand out from the rest, take a look at these nine things most hiring managers don’t necessarily need to see on your resume.
Unless you’re applying for a job in modeling or acting, there’s no reason for your picture to be on your resume. Since hiring based on appearance is considered discrimination and unlawful, your picture really holds no merit on a resume. If the company is really concerned about what you look like, you can be sure they’ll visit your social media profiles.
2. Personal Information
Hiring managers are not looking for a companion. They are looking for an employee that best fits their company needs. Businesses do not want to see irrelevant details about your personal life, such as which church you attend or what sports teams you played on in high school. The only exception, of course, would be if the job you are applying for directly relates to the information you’re providing.
3. Common Skills
It’s 2016. In this day and age, it’s not uncommon for someone to be able to operate a telephone or navigate through Microsoft Office. Therefore, being able to do these things doesn’t really make your resume anymore special than anyone else’s. If you’re trying to get into the IT field, any programming education or advanced technological skills you have would be relevant, but simple computer skills really aren’t necessary to include.
4. Messy Formatting (or no formatting at all)
Recruiters want to be able to look at your resume and quickly gather everything they need to know about you. Therefore, your resume needs to be as clear and concise as possible if you want to stand a chance. This is not the time to try and show your artistic or creative side. Keep the information listed, as well as the style and formatting, very clean and simple.
5. Gaps in Employment
Often times, for one reason or another, we experience gaps in our employment history. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as sometimes layoffs, continued education, motherhood, or relocation can be reasons for gaps. Most employers are generally familiar with these types of gaps and they don’t impact your chance of being hiring. Just be sure to clearly explain any of these gaps wherever necessary.
6. Vague Statements
Avoid using generic, blanket statements like, “Seeking a position with maximum growth potential,” as this can be a real turn off for potential employers. Writing statements like this basically tells the employer that you’re seeking a job, but not necessarily this specific job. Focus on making your resume unique to each job you apply for. It may be a little more time consuming, but it’s definitely worth it most times. Be specific and be honest, and don’t exaggerate.
7. Writing in First Person
Companies don’t want to read an autobiography. They don’t want resumes written in the first person. They understand that the resume is yours, so there’s no need to start every sentence with “I…”. Instead, drop the “I” and start your sentences with action verbs like ‘Coordinated…’, ‘Designed…’, ‘Improved…’, ‘Managed…’, etc.
8. Job Descriptions
In the past, resume builders asked about the duties you carried out at your previous jobs. However, in today’s day and age, employers typically know what responsibilities certain positions entail, especially if the previous job was similar to the new potential job. Most hiring managers aren’t interested in your day-to-day tasks, but more so, how your performance impacted the company in a positive way.
9. Cover Letters
While many people feel different ways about cover letters, the consensus seems to be that cover letters do very little to help boost your resume. Your application should address everything that your cover letter would include anyway, so it becomes quite unnecessary. In fact, most hiring managers don’t even take the time to read cover letters, as they generally tell very little about your experience or qualifications.
Your resume is basically a one-page advertisement of you - a direct reflection of what you bring to the table, or to the company, in this case. If the information is not going to help you get the job, leave it behind. Now how many of these common mistakes do you have to go fix on your resume tonight?