The world of work is unpredictable. You could be happily employed one day, and then shown the door the next. You never know what will happen from day to day. If you were let go from your job or if you’re not being challenged or paid well enough at your current job, you’re likely preparing to look for a new job. You’ve got your interview suit ready, you have a list of practice questions, and you’ve perfected your pre-interview chit-chat skills. But is your resume up to the challenge?
Remember that the resume that got you your current job isn’t necessarily going to help you get your next job. Each career move will require you to update your resume in some way. This is especially true if you haven’t interviewed for a job in several years. You may be devoting most of your energy to adding new skills and work experience, but removing experience can be just as important. Here are 10 things you must remove from your resume right now.
1. An unprofessional email address
Your professional brand extends much further than how you dress or the way you speak. With that in mind, know that your college email address won’t work when you’re looking for a real job. Hiring managers will judge you by the email address you use to communicate with them. So instead of using an address like “surferdude” or “sexyladyfuntimes,” create an email address with your first and last name. Keep it simple and classy.
2. Jobs you were fired from due to ethical misconduct
If you were a very bad boy or girl at work, you may want to forget including those jobs on your resume. Dismissal due to ethical misconduct could prevent you from landing your next gig. When it comes to deciding whether to keep jobs like this on your resume, heed the wise words of Snoop Dog and drop it like it’s hot.
3. Your photo
Yes, your mom thinks you’re super good looking, but not everyone will agree. Save your photo for your social media accounts and spare the recruiters a copy of your glamour shot. Including a photo could also set you up for discrimination (race, age, disability etc.), so it’s better for the hiring team to get a full understanding of your qualifications before seeing how you look.
4. An objective
Considering the fact that you applied for a particular job, it should be pretty obvious what type of position you’re looking for. Besides, an objective just takes up space you could be using for additional work experience. If you still really want to write an objective, write one down for your own reference, and look at it every now and then to help you stay focused during your job search.
No one cares about your hobbies — really. We’re sure your rock collection is fascinating, but a special mention doesn’t belong on your resume. If your hobby is related to the job, you could mention it during your conversation with the hiring manager. Just don’t dedicate four lines on your resume to talk about what you do in your spare time.
6. Details about your life
Similar to the advice above about hobbies, don’t mention your personal life. It’s wonderful that you’ve been married for four years and have four children, but a recruiter doesn’t need this type of information. Just like with the photo, providing too much unsolicited personal information could hurt more than it helps. This could be the case if your interviewer is concerned about hiring someone with children out of fear that the employee won’t be as dedicated as the other workers. Don’t disqualify yourself for the job before you’ve even had a chance to meet the interviewer.
7. Irrelevant jobs
You may have been an expert at unclogging the deep fryer at your previous job, but those skills may not impress the person who is evaluating you for the position you’re seeking. Only include work that shows how your experience directly translates to the job you want. Managers want reassurance that you can do the job. They typically judge this by checking your resume to see if you’ve successfully performed similar job duties elsewhere. Keep your resume focused.
8. Third-person voice
Referring to yourself in the third person is just weird. Don’t do it. Instead of writing “Suzie raised $3 million last year,” just write what you accomplished in the first person without using the pronoun. So your revised bullet point would say “raised $3 million.” It’s less awkward this way. Besides, the interviewer already knows your name (it’s at the top of your resume), so there’s no need to repeat it when referring to your accomplishments.
9. Fake credentials
You do know better than this, right? If you have a degree on your resume you didn’t earn, remove it right away. Employers will check your education history. If an employer discovers you lied, you’ll likely be dismissed. And don’t think you can get away with lying about certifications, either. Employers check those as well. The best way to not get caught lying about your qualifications is to actually go to school and earn your degree. Simple, right?
10. Unnecessary pages
No matter how much experience you’ve gained, few people have the desire to read a three- or four-page resume. We’re sure your work history is riveting, but we doubt the hiring manager wants to sit and read a detailed account of every job you’ve had since high school. Make sure your work history is clear and succinct. Convey you’re the right person for the job in as few pages as possible. Unless you’re a senior manager with several years of work experience, it’s generally best to limit your resume to about one or two pages.
Follow Sheiresa on Twitter.