If it’s been a while since you’ve looked for a job, you may not have updated your resume in quite some time. Or maybe you’ve updated your resume but did so based on advice you heard long ago. Either way, your resume may contain items that can make you appear out of touch, unprofessional or just don’t add anything to why you should get the job.
Space on your resume is valuable real estate and should be reserved for important accomplishments. You don’t want anything distracting recruiters and hiring managers from your best qualities and qualifications.
With that in mind, consider these six things you should take off your resume right now.
If you accomplished something, of course you were responsible for it. This phrasing is redundant and distracts from your accomplishment. “Responsible for designing supervisory curriculum” is less effective than “Designed supervisory curriculum,” says Melissa Cooley, founder of career consultation and resume-writing service The Job Quest. “The phrase ‘responsible for’ doesn’t show anything of value, and, upon seeing it, a hiring manager could mistakenly assume that the entire accomplishment is less important.”
Weird Formatting and Design
Of course you want your resume to stand out, but it shouldn’t be because you chose Comic Sans as your font. Pick a classic format, a common font and be consistent. For example, if you use bullet points and use periods after each point, do that throughout, advises Carl Schlotman, author of “Cash In Your Diploma.”
Schlotman also advises against using color anywhere in your resume. The hiring manager probably won’t waste color ink when printing it and once converted to black and white, your text may appear different than you intended.
It’s unlikely any job experience you have from 10 or more years ago is still relevant to jobs you’d be applying for today, says Jeff Altman, host of Job Search Radio. Your level of responsibility and core job functions, not to mention accompanying technologies, have likely evolved quite a bit in the past 10 years and are only relevant to show how far your career has progressed. If you feel the progression is important, Altman says this can be demonstrated with a line elsewhere, perhaps in your cover letter.
A Laughable Email Address
If your email provider hasn’t been a popular choice for the past several years, you may be subtly communicating to managers and recruiters that you’re out of touch. BritneyNJustinForever@ancientemailprovider.com is unprofessional because it includes your personal interests, yes. But it also, through a specific cultural reference and outdated provider, shows that you haven’t embraced newer and better technology that’s come along since.
If your name is Britney and your spouse’s name is Justin, this is unprofessional for another reason: Shared email addresses are a no-no.
Excessive Information About College
Many recent graduates will include information about their fraternity or sorority affiliations on the off chance a recruiter or manager will feel some type of kinship. That information is just a waste of space, says Bob Bentz, president of ATS Mobile, a mobile marketing agency in Philadelphia. He says he’d much rather that space show off a candidate’s internships and job experiences.
Bentz feels the same way about grade point averages on resumes for anyone other than a recent graduate. “Except for obtaining an entry level job, your GPA is meaningless. It offers no indication of whether you will have a positive ROI for our company.”
The same is true for listing every school you attended. The hiring manager doesn’t need to know you bounced through three institutions before graduation. Just list the school that’s on your diploma.
Your Home Address
At best this information is unnecessary, and at worst, it can hurt you. If you’re looking to relocate and applying for positions in other areas of the country, showing your current address in another location can make hiring managers feel like you may not truly be interested or may want relocation assistance that they hadn’t budgeted for, says Ian Jackson, managing partner at Enshored, a business operations optimization service. You’ll put your address on your formal application and on numerous forms once you’re hired. It doesn’t need to take up valuable real estate on your resume.
By Dominique Rodgers Monster Contributing Writer