When you’re looking for a new job, your resume is the first thing a potential employer uses to evaluate you. Listing your most relevant skills and accompanying keywords helps your resume stand out and makes it less likely to be filtered out by an applicant tracking system. But it’s possible to write yourself out of a job by including the wrong information on your resume.
To create an optimal resume presentation and improve your chances of getting an interview, omit the following items:
Leave Out Your Entire Work History
If you’re applying for an entry level position or if you’re new to your chosen industry, it’s easier to keep your resume under a page. For more established professionals, it’s tempting to include every position you’ve ever had along with lengthy descriptions of each job.
More concise yet powerful resumes are easier to scan for relevant information. When describing your applicable positions and skills, stick with more details for your most recent work history (8-10 years) and highlight transferable skills from other jobs. Potential employers want to hire you based on what they perceive your current skill set to be, and that is why your experience in the last decade is weighed the most.
Check For Grammatical Errors and Misspellings
Before uploading your resume to any job posting, proofread it for mistakes. Keep in mind that resume language is different from prose, but blatant misspellings and grammatical errors need to be corrected. Spelling and grammatical errors signal a lack of attention to detail, and they are an easy way to weed out applicants. Any kind of spelling and grammatical errors can be a deciding factor in whether or not you get an interview.
If you’re not comfortable proofing your own resume, have someone look it over before using it to apply for jobs. Reading your resume out loud can help you restructure your job descriptions and accomplishment statements so they flow.
Don’t Add Photos
It can be tempting to add a headshot to your resume, but it’s not necessary. Photos take up space that can be used to show your pertinent skills. Some applicant tracking systems can’t read photos, so adding one to your resume could get it tossed before the hiring manager ever sees it.
You likely have a professional headshot on your LinkedIn profile, and if an employer is interested in you, they will probably look there(pro tip: it helps if you include a hyperlink to your profile). Don’t waste space on your resume, and instead focus on showcasing why you’re the best applicant for the job.
Steer Clear of Buzzwords
Although your resume should include targeted keywords that match the job for which you’re applying, steer clear of buzzwords. These are words or phrases that are overused and end up cluttering your resume. Examples of buzzwords include:
- Extensive experience
- Team player
This is not a comprehensive list of general buzzwords to avoid. Your resume should be tailored to your desired position and adding words like those listed above just serves as fluff or filler. Instead of peppering your resume with buzzwords, use actionable language to illustrate your skills and experience.
Leave Out The Objective Statement
Whether to include an objective statement on your resume has been a debatable topic lately. Some resume experts stand by the objective statement, while others say you can scrap it in favor of a value proposition or similar language.
If you choose to keep your objective statement, don’t be generic with it. Use this statement to summarize who you are and how you can add value to the company in your desired role. Tailor it to the position you are applying for.
Avoid Generic Job Descriptions
When describing your previous work experience, emphasize your accomplishments and demonstrate how you achieved results for your employer. Everyone performs differently in their roles. This is a way to show what you did in the role and approached the work. Simply including a list of duties and tasks you performed at your job doesn’t illustrate your skills. Copying a job description is bland and outdated.
Include specific examples of how you contributed to your company while doing your job. Instead of writing “responsible for managing the filing system,” use actionable language and show your results. Try: “Implemented a new filing system leading to a 20% reduction in research times.”
Your Salary History
Most companies don’t negotiate salary until after the first interview. Including your salary history can exclude you from the applicant pool. It can also negatively impact your ability to negotiate. If your noted salary history is lower than comparable job descriptions, the company may try to start you at a pay that is too low.
Craft The Perfect Resume With Capstone
There are many ways to structure your resume, and your applicable skills and job titles can vary based on your desired position. You may think that your resume highlights valuable skills and shows how you can benefit the company, but it might not have the right keywords for your desired position.
Capstone Resumes Services can help you decide what to include in your resume and which items to remove. We can help you highlight your best skills, schedule your consultation today.