What You Don’t Include Can Be as Important as What You Do

Still waiting on a reply to your job application? When reviewing an influx of resumes, employers look for reasons to screen out applicants in an attempt to produce a manageable group of candidates to interview. With an abundance of tips to help make your resume more appealing, consider this set of do’s and don’ts to easily make a better first impression on your potential future boss. Sometimes what not to include is just as important as what to include.

Here’s what to omit when creating your resume.

Photographs

In the day and age of social media, there is no reason to include a photo on your resume when it’s easily accessible on the internet. Also, although many companies try their best to be ethical, including a photo could potentially lead to discrimination.

Personal interests or information

Your resume is intended to educate a company on who you are as a working professional and why you are qualified for the role you are applying for. Personal information is irrelevant and is better served as a conversation piece during the interview process.

Inaccuracy in your education or low GPA

Completing a phase of your education is a significant accomplishment. You should be proud of it and only say that you completed it if you actually did. Education verification is very common, so never misrepresent or embellish the level of education you have achieved. Fabrication in your education can instantly lead to termination. It is best to only list a GPA of 3.0 or above.

Irrelevant experience

Your resume should lead the employer to the conclusion that you have the right qualifications for the job. Only highlight relevant experience that showcases skills that can translate to the position you are applying for. Highlighting irrelevant experience can lead hiring managers to believe that you did not read the job description.

Unprofessional email address

Your resume is your first opportunity to present yourself as a professional, so make sure you have a professional email address. Creating a more professional email address only takes a few minutes and could be the single item that keeps you from making it to the next phase of the interview process.

Here are some reminders of what you should focus on when creating your resume

Keep it to no more than two pages

While outlining your skills and experience is essential, if your resume is too long, it won’t make it through the first phase. As employers and recruiters typically sort through hundreds of resumes, shorter resumes with stronger selling points are immediately more visible.

 Use bullet format

A bulleted format allows you to highlight your strengths and accomplishments and makes it easier for the reader to skim to see if you are a good fit. Use bullets on your resume where possible.

 Tailor your resume for different jobs

Tailor your resume for the position you are applying for by highlighting qualifications and expertise that match the specific job requirements. This strategy can separate you from other applicants and further solidify you are qualified for the role.

Keep formatting consistent

Being consistent across your resume will make it visually appealing and easier for the reader to scan. For example, if you bold one section heading, bold them all. Make sure the alignment, spacing and font are consistent throughout. If the reader has a hard time viewing your resume, it could be eliminated from consideration.

Proofread

Before finalizing your resume, be sure to review it one last time. Read your resume aloud or ask a friend or trusted colleague to proofread it. A second set of eyes will help you put your best foot forward and achieve the best possible first impression.