Sometimes, less really is more. It’s true of graduation speeches. Some would argue that it’s true of cilantro, of Christmas music, or of cologne. It can even be true of your resume.
That’s not to say that there isn’t some merit to a nicely detailed, filled-out resume. As you tell the story of your career, crafting a true narrative from your list of accomplishments and professional credentials, you want to be thorough, and you don’t want to leave any significant experience out of the document.
With that said, not everything you see on a resume is helpful, and not everything serves to enhance the allure of the candidate. Trust us: The Grammar Chic, Inc. resume writing team has seen resumes with headshots, ClipArt, and Comic Sans. True story: We even saw one resume that began with this clause: Well, I guess my only real skill is…
The point is, there is often more that you could add to your resume to make it complete; there also tends to be stuff you might leave off the resume to make it more appealing, more concise, more hard-hitting. Some examples of things you can cut from your resume right now include:
- Your personal section. Employers and recruiters care about the value you offer to them—period. Generally speaking, that means your professional life; it doesn’t mean your love of bike riding and romantic comedies, nor does it mean your community volunteerism. There are exceptions to this, when companies are looking to hire for cultural fit, but in those scenarios you’ll be asked to take some kind of personality test. Hobbies really don’t belong on a resume.
- Gaps in your career history. You can remove the gaps by filling them with brief, honest explanations—a Homemaker Sabbatical, a Medical Sabbatical, or time spent working part-time or consulting. Just don’t leave huge chunks of time unaccounted for.
- Photos. You don’t need them. Ever. Unless you’re applying to be a supermodel, maybe.
- Your career objective. We say this all the time, but it’s an enduring problem with many resumes: They contain an objective, which really says nothing at all. Your objective is to get a job, same as everyone else writing a resume—so why waste the space? Ditch it for a nice executive summary, instead.
- Third-person voice. A good example of a resume achievement is: “Increased sales revenues by 30 percent.” A bad, weird-sounding example is: “Margaret increased sales revenues by 30 percent.” Catch the difference?
- An e-mail address from your company employer. Remove it in favor of a personal e-mail address—because nobody wants to hire someone who obviously job searches on their current employer’s time!
Any of these elements will undermine an otherwise strong resume—so just cut ‘em.
For more tips on what to cut—or what to include—please contact our resume writing team today: Call 803-831-7444, or visit www.grammarchic.net.
Amanda E. Clark founded Grammar Chic in 2008. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She launched Grammar Chic after freelancing for several years while simultaneously leading marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies.