by John Krautzel
Sometimes perfecting your resume is more about taking things off than making additions. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that more equals better. The best resumes get right to the point, sharing your value and leaving off the rest. Improve your resume by removing the following unhelpful items and improve your chances of landing an interview.
1. An Objective
Obviously, your objective is to get the job for which you applied. Improve your resume by taking this outdated item off and using that valuable space to share more of your accomplishments.
2. Too Many Keywords
While including a few keywords is important, more is not better. Matter of fact, some applicant tracking programs screen out resumes with too many keywords. When you do add keywords, be sure to include them naturally so that your resume reads comfortably and does a good job of depicting your qualifications.
3. A Photo
Not only is a photo unnecessary; it may lead to discrimination. Help hiring managers make unbiased decisions by leaving the photo off.
4. Extra Pages
The ideal resume length is one page. Two pages are acceptable if you have a long work history and many quantifiable accomplishments, certifications or coursework. Hiring managers are unlikely to even glance at a third page, so improve your resume by getting rid of it.
5. Too Much Text
Don't make the mistake of putting all of the information from your three-page resume onto a single page either. Tiny fonts are hard to read, and your resume needs a certain amount of white space to be legible. Take off extraneous information, and organize the information you keep to create a resume that is visually pleasing and easy to read.
6. An Abundance of White Space
On the other hand, too much white space isn't good either. If your experience is sparse, include volunteer work or accomplishments from your schooling to help fill out the page.
7. Vague Statements
Long lists of vague responsibilities are boring and don't provide the hiring manager with concrete examples of your worth. Improve your resume by including specific accomplishments along with numbers to give the reader a better idea of what you are capable of doing.
8. Irrelevant Jobs
In general, hiring managers don't need to know that you worked in the fast-food industry in high school. Only include jobs in your work history that relate to the position for which you are applying.
You may be quite the chef or regularly complete marathons, but unless those hobbies relate directly to the job you are applying for, they don't belong on your resume. Improve your resume by only including information that helps hiring mangers see how you are a good fit for their organizations.
Proofread your resume carefully for misspelled words and grammatical errors. Be extra careful that any names of people or organizations are spelled correctly and that addresses and other contact information are current.
If you aren't getting many interviews offers, it may be time to take a critical look at your resume and weed out items that hiring managers don't want to see. Then strengthen it with lists of hard skills, applicable certifications and quantified accomplishments. Taking the time to improve your resume is a simple way to speed up your job search.