Is your resume dangerously outdated? Five things you need to remove from it NOW!
In today’s changing job market, an outdated resume can land even the best candidate’s application in the rejection pile.
Resumes are living documents, so it’s critical that you stay on top of the latest trends to keep your resume updated and let your work history shine. And to help you stay informed on what’s in and what’s out, FlexJobs is sharing five things you need to remove from your resume ASAP.
1) A career objective
An objective statement used to be at the top of a resume and told an employer what you were looking for in a job. But employers already know your objective: to get a job!
Instead of an objective statement, use a well-written summary of qualifications to introduce employers to your most relevant skills and experiences. Use it to tell them why they need you, rather than why you need them.
2) Unrelated awards, hobbies, and interests
Instead of including hobbies or interests that have nothing to do with the job, leave this section out. It’s better to omit something that could make your resume stand out for the wrong reasons.
The exception is if the award, hobby, or interest is relevant to the role. For example, if you’re changing careers from accountant to food blogger, the fact that you’ve won the county fair pie contest for the last three years is relevant to the job, and you could include that information.
3) Too much formatting
Resumes are, as a rule, kind of boring to look at. It’s mostly just words on a page. You might use some bolding, italics, or underlining, but too much formatting could be distracting, and most companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) that are programmed to read traditionally formatted resumes.
And it’s difficult for an ATS to read columns, fancy fonts, and graphs. Instead of a fancy resume, keep it simple. Use a font that’s easy for humans and machines to read, and use formatting sparingly. For example, use only bolding, italics, or underlines, but not all three in the same sentence.
4) Task lists
Instead of telling employers what you did, tell them what was accomplished. What were the overarching results of day-to-day tasks? Use the STAR method to help employers understand how you did what you did and why it made a difference to your company. This, in turn, will help them understand what goals you can help the company achieve.
5) Technology basics
Including a skills section on your resume is a great way to quickly highlight the most important and relevant skills. However, saying that you know how to use Windows, Microsoft Office, and email isn’t saying much. Instead, highlight the skills that will make you stand out. Knowing how to use a spreadsheet is one thing. But can you set up macros? Run pivot tables? Those are the kinds of skills you should be highlighting.
Photo by Ana Tavares