We’ll let you in on a secret: Hiring managers often feel a lot of pressure during their workday so they aren’t able to take that much time reviewing resumes. In fact, studies show that people take about 6 seconds to look over each one. How can you get your resume noticed?
One of the clues is to optimize how you create it, and let hiring managers find your best stuff quickly. That includes enhancing the things they want to see right away and leaving off what they don’t want to see. We want to help you create a resume that will deliver a noticeable impact, so we’ve compiled this list of 10 things you can remove from your resume in order to help it stand out.
- Remove your objective from the top of the page. Often these are too long and quite obvious. Instead, write a brief summary or statement of your skills, highlighting not what you want, but what you’re good at. For example, digital marketing specialist, experienced compassionate vet tech, reliable plumbing and heating expert, and so forth.
- Remove clutter. Really weed through unnecessary wording and fluff, and try to stick to the facts. People’s eyes are actually drawn to text that is surrounded by white space. Give your resume some breathing room with decent margins and clean spacing.
- Eliminate having a list of numbers for your contact information. One number, one email, is fine. Nobody wants to try to figure out the best way to reach you. You can just keep it straight forward and simple.
- Take out any information that might make a hiring manager hesitant to call you and set off even an unintentional bias. There is no need to include your marital status, age, ethnicity, etc. You also don’t need to have the year you graduated, but you do want to list your degree and focus of study.
- Try to be objective and remove anything that’s not really relevant to the job you’re seeking. If you’re an actress looking for extra work, being a champion ice skater would be great to add, but you don’t need it if you’re going to be a receptionist. Human Resources is looking for specific skills that relate to a specific role they need to fill.
- Remove any references. You can say that your references are available upon request but even that is quite obvious when it gets to that stage of the hiring process.
- Don’t let yourself get pigeon holed. Specific information not related to the specific job, such as having a Ph.D., can make you appear overqualified and put doubt in the manager’s mind that you wouldn’t accept the salary or enjoy the position.
- Remove a frivolous job, or one that really doesn’t help you achieve your goals and was merely to help you make ends meet. Sure it makes you look resourceful and humble, but it’s not necessary.
- You don’t need any super specific terms that relate to a totally different industry. Hiring managers won’t be impressed if it doesn’t relate to their industry. Focus on skills – and terminology — that are transferable.
- Remove jobs from a very long time ago, say ten years’ prior, unless they are closely related to the job that’s posted. If you’ve come pretty far down the road you no longer need to list your job as a bartender on campus or babysitting when in high school.
Remember that there are always exceptions to the rule and common sense is the best practice. It’s always a good idea to have a friend or an expert take a look at your resume and give you some feedback.
Need help with your resume? We’re here to help. Contact us. MassHire Cape & Islands Career Center 508-771-JOBS (5627)