After proofreading to check misspellings or grammatical errors on your resume, look for these nine details to further polish it (Business Insider):
You may think that listing down hobbies will show that you have a well-rounded personality. Think again. Knowing what you do in your spare time is not the priority of the hiring manager.
This is one of those outdated details you don’t need to include. Applicants used to write: “Seeking to find a job in (specific industry) to leverage my skills”. It seems obvious, don’t you think? Employers know that it is your goal because you’re applying for the job. Write a professional summary instead. These are three to five sentences that summarize your strengths and core competencies (read 5 last minute resume checks for examples).
- Personal pronouns (I, me or my)
It is understood that everything in your resume is about you. So instead of using personal pronouns, begin with strong verbs instead. Examples are: Created, analyzed, or managed (for past work experience).
- Irrelevant experience
To help the recruiter focus on your most significant skills and experiences, don’t mention previous jobs that are not related. For example, if you’re applying for a teaching job, don’t include that you had a short stint as a lifeguard unless you can describe it in such a way that the skills you learned helped you become a better educator. Including non-related jobs can also seem like you are padding your resume because you lack enough work experience.
- Images or graphics
In some countries, including your most recent photo is the norm. In Canada, don’t include a photo of yourself unless you’re applying for an acting or modelling job. Icons, border designs, or logos can also be distracting. However, a decorative resume may be acceptable for those in the creative industry. But for most industries, it’s not.
- Professional contact information
Don’t include the phone number or address of your current job. It’s highly unprofessional. You wouldn’t want your current employer knowing that you are scouting for a new job.
- Overused buzzwords
Using words like people-pleaser, go-getter, synergy, think outside the box can mark you as insincere. Many recruiters are annoyed by these terms because they are used very often. Instead, use simple, descriptive words and go straight to the point.
- Present tense for a past job
Check your verb tenses. Always use past tense for past jobs and use the present tense only when describing your current responsibilities (if you are currently employed).
- Unnecessary words
Don’t put the word Resume on top of the page. You also don’t need to label your address, phone and email – these are recognizable by themselves. Don’t write references available upon request because it’s understood that you will provide them when asked. Deleting these will free up space and make your resume look fresh and uncluttered.
After you’ve checked your resume for these nine details, you will see that it is now more focused and clear. With your relevant achievements in the forefront, the hiring manager will be able to see clearly that your skills and talents are a perfect match for the position. Good job!
Sources: Never include these 9 resume-killers on any job application, Arielle Berger, Jacquelyn Smith and Rachel Gillet, Business Insider; and Top 15 things you can leave off your resume, Alison Doyle, the balance careers. All retrieved August 9, 2018.
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