The average time a recruiter spends scanning your resume can be anywhere from 5 to 20 seconds. They’ve seen so many job applications that their eyes are trained to look right through all the usual fluff words and instead, focus on the important information relevant to the position they are hiring for. Keep your resume simple and to the point and provide clear information that supports your goal; don’t lose their time and dilute your key message with things that are not in their main interest. Leave something to further explain during the interview. Here’s what to remove from your resume to make sure it contains the precise balance of information to boost your job search efforts and land you the job you want:
- Change the ‘Objective’ into a ‘Professional Profile’. What you want is not exactly what the employers are interested in today. You should open with a strong message that summarizes your educational and professional background and indicates what you are best at, leaving the space after to further showcase how your past achievements support this statement. We do want to note however, that in some instances an objective can be used. You should consult with a resume writer to be sure.
- Exclude the needless fluff words that add no real value to your resume. Anyone can say they are very communicative, hard-working and have the ability to learn and adapt fast, but the truth is no recruiter buys these irrelevant self-bragging words. If you want to express these traits, better demonstrate them by giving examples from your previous accomplishments and remove them from your resume.
- Watch your grammar and spelling. A resume full with spelling and grammar mistakes will most probably end up in the recruiter’s recycle bin, permanently hurting your chances of landing the job you are after. Most importantly, always proofread to make sure everything is perfect.
- Include one phone number. If you have to list more than one, specify the conditions in which the others are to be used.
- Avoid discriminating information. Some information like your age, sex, ethnicity, religion or marital status may lead the recruiter to discriminate against you, so you better not include them if not particularly required. This also applies to adding a photo to your resume, since regularly a picture isn’t part of it, except for professions where the physical appearance is important for the position, like modeling, or the TV industry.
- Include your degree, major, the institution you attended, and your GPA if appropriate. You don’t have to list the high school you went in, the transferring institutions, or the year when you graduated.
- Include skills and achievements relevant to the job you apply for. It’s great that you helped your colleagues better track the supplies with your new Access database, but how is that fact helping you get a job in the sales department? List only the experiences that are applicable to your job search goals and be cautious when mentioning associations or volunteer work that might be conflicting with your potential employer.
- Don’t list technical skills for basic computer programs. You are now expected to have knowledge of some of the basic software programs like Word, Excel or PowerPoint.
- Eliminate the line ‘References available upon request’. Who would refuse to provide references if asked to, but this is typically required during the latter part of the interview process.
- Maintain the length for your resume reasonable. For college graduates with little or no experience, a one page resume is what most recruiters expect to see, but if you’ve had a considerable experience in your industry behind you, your resume will most probably be about two to three pages. What’s most important is that it is easy to read, provides the needed information and delivers its compelling message to those making the decision. When you are certain on the content you are going to include in your resume, tighten it up and format it properly so you’ll have a decent amount of white space. Focus on what’s important and relevant, and keep in mind that when it comes to creating or updating your resume the less is often more.
Dave Stevenson has been a professional resume writer for more than 5 years. Now he is a blogger providing a huge amount of information for job seekers. Find out more at his web site: best-resume-builder.com