Your resume is like your print ad and brochure trying to sell yourself as the best option for an open position at a firm. The problem with so many resumes these days is that they’re ho-hum and unimpressive. That just won’t do, when each available corporate job gets an average of about 250 resumes. Recruiters tend to spend less than 6 seconds glancing at your resume, so you better make it count.
Unfortunately, some so-called solutions used by prospective job seekers to make themselves stand out don’t work. Sure, they may stand out, but not in a good way.
Things You Can Leave Off Your Resume
Too Much Heavy Formatting
Some think that since recruiters only glance at resumes for a few seconds, they need a format that really stands out. But some of these formats are distracting, and some are downright garish.
It’s true that a boring template won’t do. But for your resume format to be successful, your improvements should be functional. You need to make your resume easier to read and your more eye-popping formats may therefore be counterproductive.
Once you’re done with your resume, take a rest and then check it over with fresh eyes after a while. Look for typographical errors, spelling mistakes, and grammatical snafus. A single mistake of this type can cost you the job.
Hiring managers hate mistakes like these because you only need a little bit of time and effort to find them and correct them. If you won’t do that for yourself, then you’re indicating that you can be just as sloppy with your job.
You Put In False or Exaggerated Information
Yes, it’s true that if you include some impressive tidbit about yourself that you can gain a job interview. But then you’re just wasting everyone’s time when that tidbit turns out to be false. Hiring managers have many ways of verifying information, and false data can keep you from getting hired. In fact, some companies may hire you and then fire you when they discover that you falsified your resume.
Including Irrelevant Skills (and Excluding Relevant Skills)
Your resume should have a skills section, where you put in your abilities that can help you with the job you’re applying for. Now you may want to put in all the abilities you’re known for, but this may be a mistake. If you’re applying for a position at a bank, then perhaps they don’t really want to know about how you were able to eat 15 hotdogs in a minute, even if you have the YouTube video to prove it.
This is why you can’t have a generic resume for every position you apply for. You need to tailor the skills you mention with what’s relevant to the position you’re applying for.
However, you may swing too far the other way and not include skills that are actually relevant. Don’t forget to mention soft skills like teamwork, communication skills, and verbal skills—they’re often very useful for all manners of positions!
Also, check out How To Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out