With every job opportunity, you are going to update your resume to keep it tailored to the position you are applying for. Unfortunately, with the change of time, the best practices of resumes has changed too. Here are some tips to keep you from sabotaging your own resume by keeping things that will not help you get the interview.
- Silly Email: You really do not feel like changing your email. Why? Because you use it for everything. Why would you change it now? Well, the “firstname.lastname@example.org” email may be amusing; however, an employer may see it as immaturity. Think about company email addresses. Usually, they use a first and the last name with a mix of initials or a period. Nevertheless, Gmail is free! Create a professional email account that you use specifically for job searching. You can immediately count yourself out just by your email being unprofessional in your contact info. Which is literally at the top of your resume!
- Advanced High School Diploma: It may be a hard pill to swallow but your advanced high school diploma means nothing to an employer. If you have some type of post-secondary education than it is understood you either received your high school diploma or GED. Your education should consist of only the education you are currently receiving or have received in the past. You especially do not want to include education where you only earned “X” amount of credits. Only education where you have earned a credential while attending. Be sure to include the most recent education first along with the college, city, and state, the degree you are pursuing and your expected graduation date.
- Irrelevant Experience: Nowadays, everyone wants everything done quick and easy. The same goes for an employer reviewing a resume. If you are using long paragraphs, have a five-page resume and list irrelevant work and education, count yourself out. Employers are only looking for information that is relevant to their opportunity.
This includes work experience, skills, and education. The best way to make sure you are keeping your resume relevant is to make sure you are using the job description as your “cheat sheet” and highlighting that information on your resume. If something is not relevant, take it off.
You also do not want to add too much fluff. Saying you can use the internet is more of an obvious skill and not something that is going to help you stand out from another resume. Incorporate skills relevant to your desired job and be sure to support them within your experience.
- Responsible For: We get it. When you are listing your work experience and highlighting your responsibilities, you do not need to put “responsible for” as that is understood. It is best to start your information with action verbs. For example, “Organized an event that hosted 200 students on campus to learn about careers.” It starts with an action verb and tells the employer what you did. Another key factor in that statement is that it shows your accomplishment and not just, what you did. Adding numerical values help support your responsibilities.
- “References Available Upon Request”: I admit it. I used this on my resume. However, does it really do anything other than take up space? Nope, nothing. Whether you have that on your resume or not, your employer is going to ask you for references either in the job application or before final interviews. Easy as that. Do not include references on your resume. Have your references on their own reference sheet. A general rule of thumb, include three professional references and two personal references. You will want to include their name, job title, company, phone number, email and relationship with you. This leaves out no additional information that an employer may need from you. Have it ready so when they do ask, it is available.
So, have you been sabotaging your resume? These simple things could be what is hindering you from getting the interview. Take my advice and cut it out.