If you haven't been looking for a job in the past few years, you might not be aware that the style of resume that employers are looking for has changed dramatically. Just 5 years ago, a professional resume was one that listed all of your previous jobs and the responsibilities you had at each of them. The goal was to give an employer a document that was sort of biography of your work history. Depending on how long you have been in the workforce and how many job you've held, your resume could span several pages.
Today, however, that isn't how things are done. Now, employers want to see a resume that reads more like a fact sheet that hits the high points of your related job experience without being filled with non-essential information. Rather than being a biography, it is more of an advertisement. If you are pulling out your old resume and adding in the information from your last job, it isn't going to be enough. In order to grab a hiring manager's attention, you'll need to give it a complete overhaul.
To help you get started, here are 5 things that you should NOT put on your resume:
- An objective statement - I know, I know...most resume templates have spaces for an objective statement, but don't use them. Most of the time your objective is going to be to find a job. Employers know this (otherwise why would be sending a resume!), so anything you put there will basically boil down to your objective being to secure employment. Instead use the space to put your Elevator pitch, which is a short statement that says who you are and what you have to offer an employer.
- References - Again, even though there may be a spot for that on a template, it isn't necessary. You'll want to have an Internet friendly version of your resume and most likely the people you use as a reference wouldn't be too happy when they realize their contact information is published on the Internet. You don't need to bother with just writing "References available upon request". Of course you would furnish references if a hiring manager asked you, so delete this section entirely.
- A photo of yourself - This may sound odd, but in most other countries a photo is considered standard for any sort of resume or CV. That being said, if you include even a tasteful head shot, you might ruin your chances of getting the job. Most companies are concerned about not having discriminatory hiring practices, so if you give them a photo upfront, they would be hesitant that the information might sway a hiring manager one way or the other.
- Your College GPA - Many applications have a space where you can put your GPA when you are listing your educational history. This isn't important and you can feel free to skip that part. On your resume, omit that information entirely. The only exception to this rule is if you are a new high school or college graduate, you have no relevant work history and you have a high GPA. Otherwise, there is no need to provide this information.
- Previous salary information - There is still some debate about this, but I think that if you include the information up front, you run the risk of being seen as too expensive or even not expensive enough. You don't want your talents to be judged based on your previous salary, so don't put it on your resume. If you are asked to interview, the question may come up and you can feel free to discuss it then
What other things do you think aren't important on a resume? Let me know in the comments.
By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer for ManufacturingWorkersBlog. Along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.