Why is updating your resumé so freakin’ stressful!? What goes in? What comes out? How long is too long? We all have these same questions. But, often we get so caught up trying to stuff in all the reasons why we’re worth hiring, that we forget to can the stuff that’s a major turn off to hiring managers.
If it’s time to give your resumé a once over, here are the top things you should ditch if you want to catch the eye of your next potential employer.
Yep, ditch ‘em. We’re not totally sure when and/or why photos started getting plonked on resumés, but if you’ve got one on yours, get rid of it. Not only does it take up valuable real estate in your ‘first impression zone’ (aka the top of page one), but it contributes to racial and gender biases. It’s a no from us.
#2 Irrelevant jobs
There comes a time in your career when your hash brown-related accolades from your first job at Macca’s aren’t actually adding anything to your resumé. Again, in the name of valuable real estate, know when to ditch the elaborate account of night shifts on drive thru in favour of more relevant experiences. You can still share valuable learnings or skills from your earlier jobs but keep it succinct.
#3 Too Much Detail About School
Again, there comes a time when prospective employers are looking for something a little juicier than your clean sheet in a math’s test. If you’ve taken leadership positions or participated in specific activities at school that are recent and relevant to the role you’re applying for, go nuts. Otherwise, keep it to a top line overview and ditch the gory details.
#4 Generic Skills
When describing your employment experiences, ditch anything too generic—everybody says they’re good at time management and working as a team. Try to convey your experience in the context of how it makes you the best person for the role you’re applying for. Marry up the things you did in those past roles with what you’d be doing in the new role and position your experience as the perfect foundation for the role you want.
#5 Scoring Yourself
Given yourself a five-star rating in attention to detail, creativity and Microsoft Office? This isn’t adding anything of value to your resumé, and just takes up valuable space. Scoring yourself out of five stars may look like a cool feature, but nobody’s going to give themselves a bad review on a resumé, so it really just dilutes the story you’re trying to tell.
#6 Busy Designs
We get it. Getting your resumé to stand out is a constant challenge, and in a sea of Word docs, using fancy designs to try and get noticed is an easy trap to fall into. You can certainly add personality and flavour to your application with design, but don’t go too crazy. Keep it clear and easy to understand—you’re making the reader’s life much easier this way. Trying to be too clever with visuals can actually do more harm than good. But, if the role you’re applying for specifically calls for design skills, still keep your resumé neat and simple. You can flex your design skills in a supplementary portfolio or link out to a website within the text.
Go forth and land that role! Then, when you’ve got it, implement these 6 healthy work habits for ultimate career wellbeing.
Image Credit: Renata Fraga
Emma is a finance blogger at The Broke Generation and a reformed spendaholic. She shares hot tips on saving, property, tax, career and investing for millennials who want to break the spending cycle and get financially confident.