What to Keep and What to Ditch

Nancy Anderson
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When crafting your resume, it can be tough to decide what information is vital and which should be removed. If you're sending out lots of resumes but getting nowhere in your job search, it may be time to reassess the document and decide what to keep and what to ditch.

Keep: Your Address

While many modern-day recruiters may advise you to leave your address off your resume, it's actually a good idea to keep it. If a hiring manager receives your resume and it contains no address, he may question whether you live close to the company, and this could hurt your chances of getting called for an interview.

Ditch: The Objective Statement

Objective statements are old news, so it's time to bring your resume into the modern era. If you're breaking into a new industry or you have a lengthy job history, use a summary statement instead. In two or three sentences, sum up your skills and experience to demonstrate your value to the hiring manager.

Keep: Internships

Listing internships on your resume can be helpful, especially if you have a limited work history. If you participated in an impressive internship for a high-profile company in your industry of interest, it's acceptable to keep it on your resume for the long term, even after you have some work history under your belt.

Ditch: Your Grade Point Average

The longer you're out of college, the more irrelevant your grade point average becomes to potential employers. Unless you're a recent college grad with no work history to mention, leave the GPA off your resume.

Keep: Dates

Never send a resume that doesn't include the beginning and end dates of employment for every position listed. A hiring manager who spots a resume that's missing dates is likely to assume that candidate is trying to hide employment gaps. If the employment dates on your resume do show any significant gaps in your work history, simply use your cover letter as an opportunity to explain them.

Ditch: "References Available Upon Request"

Most job seekers think it's customary to finish off the resume with this age-old line, but it's not necessary. Most hiring managers already assume that you're prepared to produce references when asked. Gather your references prior to the job interview, and take them with you. Don't offer them without solicitation, but be ready to hand them over if you're specifically asked to provide references.

Your resume may contain too many useless details, or it may not provide enough information to give the hiring manager a great first impression of you. By deciding what to keep and what to ditch, you can create a focused, highly relevant resume that lets you stand out from the other candidates and shows how your skills and experiences are a perfect fit for the position.


Photo courtesy of Michelle Estabrook at Flickr.com

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