As a hiring manager, I’ve seen the gambit when it comes to resumes. Some have been beautiful, concise, and inspiration for redoing my own! Others are cluttered, lacking crucial details, or full of redundant info. I once received a 16-page resume for an entry-level job! As you can guess, that candidate was not hired.
So what about you. You’ve got great experience, so how could you possibly cut down the length of your resume? Here’s my advice for the top three things I see that your resume can do without.
1. Generic Skills
Unless you’re a computer programmer, most people waste valuable resume space by including a skills section. Every time I hire, I see resumes that have “detail-oriented,” “proficient in Microsoft Office Suite,” and other generic skills cluttering up their valuable page space.
While these skills are important, you need to keep in mind that the average hiring manager is merely glancing over your resume before making a decision to keep or trash it. Make sure that their eye lands on what you want them to see, not just filler content.
The best way to demonstrate your skills is by showing, not telling. Are you detail-oriented? Then send me a beautifully formatted resume with no errors. A whiz with words? Write me a compelling cover letter with clear examples!
Another great way to highlight your skills is to work them into the job descriptions under each position. If you “increased sales by 15% over a year through optimizing social media,” I’ll definitely get the point that you’re a whiz on Instagram!
Objectives are easily the place I see most candidates go wrong. In fact, in all the time I’ve been hiring, I can’t think of a single successful objective on a resume. However, I can think of quite a few bad ones. My personal favorite? When the objective says “seeking employment as a nurse” and I’m hiring for a library position.
Other than making sure that the objective matches the job you’re hiring for, the other thing I see is “seeking a position as a Library Assistant.” While I love that the resume is customized for the job, this info is redundant. I know you’re interested because you applied!
Do yourself a favor and remove the objective section from your resume. A well-written experience and education section, as well as a great cover letter, are enough to let me know why I should consider your candidacy.
3. References Available Upon Request
I see this one frequently on resumes, and if anything, you should remove this term because it’s outdated. While this line was common practice a decade prior, it’s now assumed that you’ll provide references — no need to state it upfront. Besides, resume space is valuable. Don’t waste a line you could have otherwise used to strengthen your candidacy!
Overall, removing these sections will help keep your resume concise and highlight your fantastic career and accomplishments. Following these tips will help improve your resume and up your job hunting game. Your hiring manager will thank you!
About the Author
Julia McKenna has spent the majority of her career in management, starting in the wellness industry and then moving into libraries. She’s passionate about staff development, leadership theory, and ensuring that workplaces are functional, professional, and happy! You can visit her online and read more at Managerine.com