Whether you are switching jobs or starting your job search for the first time, getting your resume right is the first step towards success. This document is your foot in the door of any company, and having it represent you well is a must. However, resume-writing is easy to learn, but hard to master. There are many ins and outs of writing them that people miss. Fortunately, we’re here to help. Here are 8 things you should keep off your resume.
Salary or hourly pay information
There is no reason for this to be in your resume. Compensation discussion comes later in the interview process. The point of a resume is to showcase your talents and experience; you’ll get to the salary requirements eventually.
What do we mean by a “bad font”? There are many ways where somebody can miss the mark with a font, but generally speaking, you should stick with a basic, sans-serif font. Sans-serif fonts are fonts that do not contain letter “feet”, which are the small lines at the bottoms and tops of certain letters. Fonts without these extra lines are easier to read through for hiring managers.
Other “bad fonts” include stylized fonts that reduce the legibility of the text. Fonts like Lucidia Handwriting and Freestyle Script should be avoided.
Fonts that are unprofessional overall should also be avoided. These kinds of fonts, while perfectly legible, are not appropriate for resumes. Examples of unprofessional fonts include Comic Sans and Impact.
Use this tool to look up the most appropriate font for your resume.
This is referring to words that everybody has on their resume. These words are go-to words that people use to try and describe themselves or their work, but they are not descriptive enough. “Hard working”, “go-getter” and “synergy” are words that you should avoid like the plague because they have been used so much and are not descriptive. Use action words such as “achieved,” “maintained,” “implemented,” or anything along those lines. Just make sure to use them sparingly and in the right places.
Why you left a previous employer
You might have left a previous job under not-so-pleasant circumstances. These reasons can potentially make a bad impression and could harm your chances at the next job. If you put something in this space that a potential employer would not appreciate, it could spell bad news for the interview. This should be left up to the hiring manager’s discretion to ask you in the interview.
Photos of yourself or your projects
Don’t include any photos of yourself or anything you worked on. This just takes up valuable space, and an employer will want to look at your experience and skills more than your photo shoot. If you’re applying for a photography position, or you have some images of visual projects that seem like they would fit well, they might be better suited in an online portfolio where you can collect and organize your best work. Then you can list the portfolio on your resume.
Why you want the job
This should be left up to the interviewer to ask, and for you to answer, in person and not in writing. It shouldn’t take up space on your resume. Use the space you would’ve used for this entry for something more valuable. As a side note, a section on why you want the job would be more suitable in a cover letter.
Telling, not showing
This is a good piece of advice for writing literature as well as for writing a resume. Don’t just tell the employer that you’re a good communicator; explain a circumstance where your great communication skills made your biggest sale, or you conducted a project well among your team members. Show your skills in your achievements, and if you can’t do that, you shouldn’t write them down at all. They will be perceived as opinions about yourself that might not be true or reliable.
Along these same lines, if you are able to, add hard numbers to your claims of “achieving x, y, z.” If you say “increased productivity year over year,” add statistics to it: “increased productivity by 10% year over year.” This percentage shows that you didn’t just “increase productivity,” which could mean just about anything.
Think about it this way: take each bit of info you have in your experience section, and ask the question “How?” for each one. If you haven’t answered the “how” yet, answer it and write it on your resume!