Creating a stellar resume is about more than what you need to include; it’s also about what needs to be left off. Some job seekers try to stretch the content of their resume to fill more space, resulting in fluff and filler that doesn’t provide any value. And in some cases, these extraneous details can actually harm your chances of being selected for an interview.
To help you craft a stronger resume, here are some things you should remove now.
Polarizing Interests and Activities
When you don’t have a lot of education or work experience in your target field, it is common to draw from other activities to help support your case for applying to a position. Often, people look to volunteer positions or other organizations they associate with to fill the gap. However, if your non-traditional experience is gained through a group that has certain connotations, you may be hurting your odds instead of helping.
Any activity that is politically charged or generally divisive needs to be removed. This can include organizations that associate with firearms, certain religion-based objectives, politics or adult-oriented themes. Essentially, if the organization’s mission or goals aren’t appropriate workplace conversation, it is best to leave them off. Or if the details could lead to discrimination, they shouldn’t be added.
However, if the job you are applying to directly relates to activities such as those listed above, the experience may be highly relevant to the hiring manager. In those cases, feel free to include them, but make sure to keep the content professional by sticking to the skills you used or gained and any relevant accomplishments.
High School Details
Unless you are a recent high school graduate looking for your first job, adding information about your educational experience at this level is unnecessary. And in cases where your graduation date reveals your age, it can actually be pretty risky to keep it on.
Even though there are legal protections against discrimination, that doesn’t mean bias, either consciously or unconsciously, won’t factor in. If you have graduated from college, the fact you completed high school is a given. In either case, the information is unnecessary, so strike it out and use the space for something more valuable to the conversation.
There are many skills a person can possess that simply don’t need to be put on paper. For example, if you graduated from high school, went to college or worked in an office environment, you don’t need to list Microsoft Word as a skill. Basic computer programs are essentially assumed to be part of your repertoire, so listing them just wastes usable space.
A References Section
References do not need to be added to your resume unless the instructions specifically state to include them. Even then, it is often best to submit them as a separate document instead of on the resume itself. And, if your resume includes the line “References available upon request,” you may be making a poor impression by including it. Typically, if you are applying for a job, the hiring manager knows you will provide references if asked to do so. That makes the statement unnecessary.
If you are interested in more resume tips or are looking for new employment opportunities, The Squires Group has the experience to help you explore your options. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled recruiters today.