Nine Items You Can Remove from Your Resume
We’ve spent some time reviewing what you should have on your resume and how to create a master resume that will put you in a good position to be able to quickly tailor to a listing, and apply to that dream job. While you are building that master you should be aware there are some things you can go ahead and remove.
1. Your home address
You will not be receiving any communication at your physical address, and while you can include your city if you would like, that is not necessary either, especially if the position is going to be entirely or mostly remote. Just make sure you have your phone number and a professional (one with your name—not something you created in high school) email address, and you are good to go.
Your objective is to get a new job, and the recruiter already knows that. So, remove that objective and replace it with a high-level summary of your hard and soft skills. An in-a-nutshell short paragraph that describes who you are and the capabilities you would bring to the position. It should be the only paragraph in your resume.
3. Really old jobs
It is more than likely that any job you had over 10-15 years ago is no longer relevant. And if there are responsibilities you had that are still relevant, they will probably be represented adequately in more recent positions. It is a straightforward way to keep everything crisp and pertinent and remove anything that is unnecessarily repetitive.
4. Anything that is not relevant
This is tied to tailoring your resume for each job listing. Look through your bullet points and edit or remove anything that is not important for the job you are applying to.
You need to keep work dates (for the last 10-15 years), but the dates of your graduation and any other certifications, you can go ahead and remove. Your qualifications are what matters—not the date you earned your degree. Whether it is fair or not, you want to avoid any unconscious bias about your age—whether someone will think you are too young or old for a position.
6. Jargon, acronyms, and initials
We want to have as much white space as possible on our resumes, but trying to shorten things up by using jargon, acronyms, and initials is not the way to go. Jargon and acronyms are a barrier to clear communication, and they also vary by company. Avoid jargon entirely, and if you want to use initials or acronyms, spell them out in their first usage: return on investment (ROI).
7. Anything that is not a fact
Soft skills are extremely important, but you need to think of a way to convey them that is a fact—not a feeling/opinion. Do not say, “go-getter,” instead, say something like, “training materials developed while working in my previous role are still used for new hires.” Do not say, “warm and friendly,” say, “developed strong connections with a key client, leading to a $1M expansion on our initial engagement.” Quantify anything you possibly can, taking the guesswork out for the reader.
Yep, do not lie on your resume. Job posts are a wish list—there is almost no recruiter who expects you to have all the skills they list out. While you are tailoring to the post, make sure you are telling the truth. If you have 75 percent of the criteria for the position, focus on that. If, once you are speaking to someone, they ask about the other 25 percent, be forthright, and let them know while you might not have experience in a certain area, you are a quick study and eager to learn.
9. Social media that is not relevant to your job search
The recruiter is almost definitely going to be looking up your social media profiles (and you should be prepared for that, removing any red flag material). A survey by The Harris Poll found “71 percent of U.S. hiring decision-makers agree that looking at candidates’ social media profiles is an effective way to screen applicants,” but that does not mean you include a link to your Instagram. Instead, include one to your 100 percent complete LinkedIn profile along with your portfolio or website (if you have one, and it’s, you guessed it, relevant).
Writing a resume can feel overwhelming, but if you focus on what to always include and what you can get rid of, you should have one you feel proud to send out when that dream role comes along!