- 09/09/2015: “US job openings soar to record highs in July, yet hiring is slow to follow” - Associated Press
- 09/16/2015: “HP to shed up to 30,000 jobs as part of restructuring” - LA Times
- 10/03/2015: “Global woes squeeze U.S. job growth” - LA Times
From these mixed messages comes one overarching message: the competition for jobs remains fierce and the job seekers who win interviews are those with compelling, powerful resumes that grab the attention of increasingly cautious employers.
As we assist our clients with recruiting, the PhoenixHR LLC staff is surprised at how many resumes remain in circulation which don’t even come close to doing their owners justice. Fatal flaws typically fall in one of two categories: content that *should* be in a resume (but isn’t) and content that *should not* be in a resume (but is).
Crafting content that *should* be in a resume is half-art (the art of effective writing) and half-science (insider knowledge used to clearly identify your unique skills and align those skills with the qualifications hiring managers are looking for). PhoenixHR LLC has both the "artistic" knowledge and the "insider" knowledge to help serious job seekers with content that *should* be in their resumes….so this post will focus on the top 5 things that *should not* be in your resume. Once you get rid of what *should not* be in your resume, we can work together to take that new (and very valuable) blank space and reinvest it on what *should* be in your resume and help win you interviews.
1. Lose the Selfie. Don’t put a head shot in your resume. A resume photo can lead to discrimination issues for prospective employers by giving clues to criteria which are protected by US employment law (such as nationality, race and religion).
2. Bye, Bye "Objective". It’s surprising how many resumes still state objectives that go something like this: “Seeking a challenging position where I can utilize my skills and grow with the company.” Duh. Such statements tells a prospective employer nothing. Ditch the “Objective” and reinvest that space to build a specific and meaningful summary of what skills you possess which fit the job you are applying for. (There's that "art and science" thing again which we can help you with,)
3. No “Cute” Email Addresses. A resume is a business communication, so keep your email address business-appropriate. Regard your email address as a a small (but important) opportunity to promote your unique professional brand. For example, if you’re going for an accounting position, substitute that “firstname.lastname@example.org” email address with something like “email@example.com”.
4. Avoid“Anti-ATS” Content. These days, before your resume can get in front of a human being who can call you for an interview, it often has to get past resume scanning software (known as an “Applicant Tracking System” or “ATS”). ATS systems will typically reject as much as 75% of the resumes they scan, often because the rejected resumes have content that an ATS cannot read. Translation: your resume should have NO logos, NO tables and NO unusual colors or fonts. (Resumes by PhoenixHR LLC are not only custom-made to reflect your unique background and abilities, but use universally readable and ATS-friendly formats.)
5. Just Say No to "References Upon Request". Like “Objective”, this statement is another well meaning waste of space because its a given. If prospective employers want references from you, they’ll ask…if and when the time is right and if and when you (and your resume) make it far enough in their interview process.
We hope you found this post helpful and thank you for sharing it with your friends.
SPECIAL OFFER NOW THROUGH NOVEMBER 30, 2015: Order your resume from PhoenixHR LLC and we will include our customizable cover letter solution for FREE (a $25 value)
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- Related: Click here to read our post, "A Robot Wrecked My Resume".
- Related: Click here to read our post, "Are Cover Letters Dead?"