September 12, 2022

What You Should Exclude on Your Resume to be a Stand Out

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Whether you are new to the job market or you have been looking for some time – you are most likely competing with hundreds of other applicants for each position. Employers are often stretched with limited time to review each application. Making the best impression possible will help you make the cut.

If you are applying online, your profile is typically saved in the company’s applicant tracking system (ATS). Most often, hiring managers, HR, or talent acquisition will first search the ATS for resumes that match the most keywords from the position’s requirements. Now, your resume is on the short list of profiles to review. With an average six-second attention span for each resume in the second round, you want to be sure you don’t include anything that will detract from your qualifications. What should you leave out?

Consider the following resume tips and advice to help ensure your resume avoids the “NO” pile.

Remove the Job Objective Statement

Replace the traditional job objective statement with a career summary or career statements custom to the position you are applying for. This helps the hiring team understand quickly how you can make an impact. Update your resume and start with a short paragraph that highlights why you are the best candidate for the position you’re applying for. Summarize your relevant accomplishments and qualifications in the career summary section and go bold. This is your opportunity to shine!

You Don’t Need a Headshot

Unless you are applying for a position in arts & entertainment that specifically requires a headshot, it’s no longer necessary and could deter the resume reader from moving you forward. Including an image file within your resume document may cause an error in the upload of your resume to the ATS. If the document makes it through the ATS upload with your headshot, you risk the chance unconscious bias could remove you from consideration. Land an interview knowing you were chosen for your experience and skill set. 

Avoid Grammatical and Spelling Errors

As tempting as it may be to apply quickly to a position when it opens using the same resume for each opening, slowing down will help improve your changes. Tailor your resume for each position and make time to proofread. If possible, asking someone to proofread for you will reduce any spelling or grammar mistakes. Printing out the resume and reviewing the hard copy can help as well. Spelling and grammar software tools are useful but may not catch spelling errors such as “manger” for “manager”. 

At any rate, you’ll want to foolproof your resume by avoiding any grammatical or spelling errors that might slip through the editing process. Putting your best foot forward with a proofed resume reiterates your eye for detail. Make sure your resume reflects your most polished and professional image with an error-free presentation.

Remove Irrelevant Hobbies and Activities

Applying for a position with an outdoor products company and kayaking is your favorite hobby? Applying for a position with a museum and volunteered with the museum’s foundation? Including your personal interest or community volunteering activity on your resume makes sense. These details are indicative of your commitment. However, listing hobbies or interests unrelated to the company or position you are applying for could distract from your professional experience. If your hobbies and personal activities are relevant, keep this section brief and toward the end of your resume. 

Other Unnecessary Content

Often, you are providing your mailing address and contact information in an application with your resume. So, keeping your resume contact information to your email address, LinkedIn page, city, and state streamlines and creates more space for relevant content.

Irrelevant employment history older than 15 years can also be removed or reduced. This will give the resume reviewer more time to focus on the recent, relevant skills and experience you bring to the table.

Make your resume perform its best by including relevant content that highlights your qualifications, skill set, and experience. You’ll catch a hiring manager’s eye when you exclude what’s unnecessary and focus on putting yourself in the spotlight where you can shine! 

Partnering with a recruiter specializing in your area of focus will give you updated, unbiased resume advice tailored to your search. AccruePartners employs subject-matter expert recruiters in the following areas:

Accounting & Finance

Information Technology

Marketing, Digital & Creative

Human Resources

Financial Services

Corporate Support

Contact us for more details.

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