Resumes are a leveller among us all. No matter what job in what country, the chances are that you should have a well written summary of yourself to have on hand for recruiters and employers in order to land yourself the job you want. According to research by The Ladders recruiters may spend as little as 6 seconds looking over your resume thus there is no margin for poor execution. At only 2 pages the best resumes are short and concise but make full use of the information they convey with none of the waste, in other words, a great resume is efficient. In spirit of the article theme let’s get straight to the point, here are some things we recommend cutting altogether.
Generic, common skills
In the cut throat world of recruitment your employer will have little to no time to cut through the humdrum skills that they take for granted. Statements such as “I am proficient with Microsoft Word and Excel” or “regularly manage email software” are the first things to go. Yes, they may be skills, but so is breathing oxygen. Almost everyone applying for any job will have these skills making it a waste of time and much needed space on your resume to list them. It also gives employers the impression that you are bluffing and consequently wasting their time.
Anything exaggerated or made up
I’m not saying dont big up relevant skills and achievements but there’s a fine line between marketing yourself well and lying about your achievements, when selling a particular skill ensure the information is accurate and impressive. There is not room on a resume for any selling point that lacks either.
Qualifications such as school exam grades when you were a teeneager may be relevant if they are your most recent educational grades, but in the event that you subsequently got higher qualifications such as A-levels, diplomas and university degrees then they are probably not worth it at all. If you feel for your specific position they are. For example, a Maths teaching position and you wish to show you had an interest in Maths from an early age and your grade A* reinforces this then that is the exception. Still, there’s no need to include other qualifications, remember that the space can be better used by a more relevant nugget of information used to differentiate you from all the other job seekers.
All the hype
A ‘grocery replenishment specialist’ sounds super cool but an employer will still judge you the same as if you wrote that you stacked shelves. Better to cut the hype and keep it to the point, concise, simple information is easier to comprehend. An employer will remember your application better if it is clearer.
Non relevant work experience
Its true that as qualifications such as university degrees become more common thus less valuable that employers increasingly value valid work experience. However, do not confuse this with any work experience. As with everything on a resume, validity specific to the position being applied for is essential in any good resume. If you are applying to be a vet then experience with farm work helping lambs give birth is completely different in value to spending a week photocopying forms in a tax office. Keep your eye on the ball.