When on the job hunt it’s important to make yourself stand out to a potential employer. This means that your resume must not only be flawless, but informative, engaging and compelling. When creating or refining your resume, there are many common resume writing practices that have now become cliché, doing nothing to help you on your quest for employment. Continue reading to find out six overrated things you should stop doing on your resume and what to do instead.
Include an Objective
In the past it was common practice to put an objective on your resume, stating the position you hoped to attain. While phrases like “My goal is to obtain a position in marketing” may have made an impact on your resume before, now it’s just making your resume seem out-dated. Chances are, whoever is reading you resume already knows what position you are interested in, making an objective highly unnecessary. Also, that objective is taking up prime real estate on your resume, hindering you from having enough space to put important information.
Padding Your Resume
An “all inclusive” style resume, listing all skills and previous employment may be more of a hindrance than a help. As employers usually have a large amount of resumes to sift through before finding the right candidate for the position, resumes which aren’t succinct can be a big waste of time for an employer. So instead of keeping your resume long, only include relevant job experience as well as only including work you have had in the last 10-15 years.
References Upon Request
This phrase, usually appearing at the bottom of a resume is now unnecessary and a thing of the past. As almost everyone applying for a job will be able to supply contact information for references, putting this phrase on the bottom of your resume is pointless, and just takes up space that could be including more useful information. Instead of including this phrase, keep a document with a list of references on hand so that when an employer requests them you will be ready.
Listing Technology Competencies
If your resume includes an entire section dedicated to technology skills and includes a laundry list of everything that you can do on a computer, it’s time to make some updates. While informing a potential employer that you are comfortable using Microsoft word or the internet may have been useful before, now it’s completely unnecessary. This is due to the fact that our world is now so technology dependent that it’s assumed that everyone has basic computer skills. Instead of listing every technology competency you have, instead focus on only specialized software, design or formatting skills you have, as this will be more useful to an employer.
Using Cliché Phrases
Resumes that are packed with meaningless and trite phrases to describe attributes and work performance such as “results driven”, “a team player”, “customer service oriented”, or “has a proven track record for success” aren’t impressing employers. As these phrases are so common and don’t have any unique or specific commentary to accompany them, the applicant doesn’t stand out or make an impression on the reader at all. As an alternative to using these phrases alone, elaborate on your positive attributes by explaining specific professional successes.
Explaining Employment Gaps
If you’ve spent a long period of time without working, don’t include that on your resume. Whether it was due to unemployment, raising a family or a long-term illness where you were eligible for social security for depression, an employer doesn’t need to know. As your resume should highlight all of your previous employment and accomplishments, organize your resume in a way that your relevant work experiences are showcased, instead of in a chronological list.
When looking for a new job it’s important to make yourself stand out in every way possible. This means that your cover letter and resume need to make a positive and lasting impression, compelling an employer to schedule an interview. By reviewing and revising your resume to remove overrated phrases, formatting and information, you could help make yourself more marketable and quickly land your next job.
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