June 30, 2017
Of course you need enough personal information for the hiring manager to contact you, but beyond that, focus on your professional experience. Aliyah, a hiring expert from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, says this in regards to personal information on a resume: “Definitely nothing overly personal or sensitive like your age/date of birth, religious beliefs, how long you are married, how many children you have and what they do, your social security number and so on.” 1 In addition, make sure you are using a professional email address and not one you created in 7th grade. Several hiring experts mentioned a growing trend of applicants including a headshot with their resume, but most warned against doing this, as it is unnecessary and could hurt your chances in the long run.
Your Entire History
A resume’s purpose is to show off your professional experience, but that doesn’t mean you need to give a recruiter your life story. You should leave off job experience that isn’t relevant to the job you are currently applying for. If you are a recent college graduate, nothing on your resume should be from high school (unless it is extremely relevant and you have a good reason for keeping it), and you can take off unrelated part-time work. Instead, focus on internships, volunteer work, or projects that are related to your field. You also don’t need to include multiple schools if you transferred halfway through college; instead, just put the school from which you received a degree. Lastly, stop including your GPA after your first job out of college.
References (Unless Specifically Asked)
You want to try to keep your resume to one page at the maximum. There’s no reason to waste precious space by listing references if the employer did not explicitly request them. Instead, just say write “References are available upon request”, which will allow your interviewer to obtain this information if they need it while leaving you space to talk about your experiences and accomplishments.
Skills You No Longer Possess
You may run into the tricky situation where there are skills that you learned at one point, but no longer remember. Maybe you were certified in a computer language or studied a language for years, but you would need to review before you could actually use them. Is it right to keep them on your resume, since you sort of know them? Amanda, a hiring expert from Daikin, suggests a solution to this dilemma: “I would create two buckets on the resume; Specialized Training (these are the things you're familiar with and have a vast working knowledge) and Use & Knowledge of Standards (the things you've learned, but may need a refresher).” 2
Grammar or Spelling Errors
This should be obvious, but your resume should be completely free from any grammar or spelling errors and easy to read. Double, triple, and quadruple check your resume before sending it off. Nothing will put off an interviewer faster than a misspelled word or obvious typo. In order to avoid this, ask a friend or family member to read over your resume and check for errors before you start applying to jobs. Brittany, a hiring expert from ManpowerGroup, says “Remember to keep your phrasing concise and easy to navigate for your reader. You should do this through bullet point statements that use keywords as well as perfect grammar, spelling, and punctuation.” 3
If your resume includes any of these five things, it may be time to do some reworking. Don’t worry, though, because with a few quick fixes, your resume will be considerably more impressive in no time!