Has your resume been falling flat? You might be telling too much and losing points before you even get a chance to answer awkward interview questions. Here are five items you might have on your resume that you should remove immediately.
1. An Unprofessional Email
While your email address might not have changed in a few decades, you shouldn’t have “firstname.lastname@example.org” as your resume email address. Look into using an alternate email that still sends messages to your main account (so you don’t miss any interview requests). Often, either your internet service provider (like whatever your CableCorp is), or free email providers like Yahoo or Gmail let you add several different addresses to your one main account. Stick with the classics and try to do something like “First.Last@email.com”. If you have a common name, like John Smith, you can always buy a domain (something like “johnsmithconsulting.com”) and have the email for that account sent to something you check regularly, like your Gmail (NOT your work email). Here’s a simple breakdown of the technical side of things.
2. Your Mailing Address
Nobody needs to know where you live from your resume. This can even hurt you if you’re moving to a new location and looking for jobs before you arrive. Take your address, including your city off your resume header. All you need there is your full name, email address, and your mobile phone number (where you can always be reached, or found via voicemail).
3. Every Single Job
Even if you’re just starting out after college, you don’t need to have every job you’ve ever held listed on your resume. In fact, you should be tailoring your resume to your job search, especially if you’re looking to shift gears. Try to take an objective look at your job list: What makes you stand out and grab the attention of a hiring manager? Is it your volunteer work? Maybe your “in between” consultant time is far more enriching than the decade you spent pushing paper at an office job you hated. If you’ve been a part-time freelancer in your moonlight hours, you can lump those clients together under the frame of your personal business, not listing them out like line items that never end. Be proud of your successes, but remember, you have to capture the attention spans of today’s workers. Think short, sweet, and amazing: That’ll get eyes on the page.
4. Plain Old Job Duties
Don’t be cookie cutter, be chocolate marble cake with sprinkles and sparklers! Rather than listing out your duties like making copies and attending budget meetings, talk about all the awesome things you accomplished at your job. Think about problems you solved, crises you helped avert, big wins you made for the company. This may require some thought and creativity, but it’ll make you stand out against all those cookies out there.
5. Age Identifiers
Sadly, age discrimination exists. While there are ways to get hired as an older worker, you might forget that your resume can also be a dead giveaway to your age. Your tell? It’s having your college graduation years on your resume. Take them off, and let your awesome experience be the way you get in the door. Once you’re sitting face-to-face, you can sell your expertise and land that new job.
Tell Us What You Think
What could you cut to improve your resume? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.