For all the fretting job seekers devote to what’s included in their resume, it’s staggering how many entry-level prospects fail to realize what should be left out of their CVs. Your resume is an excellent opportunity to market your skills and share your accomplishments, but it should never stray into irrelevant or self-serving territory.
Below, we’ve outlined what you should opt to leave off of your entry-level resume if you want to boost your chances of job hunting success. Read on to find out more about what matters, what doesn’t, and what you should avoid including altogether.
In most cases, experts advise skipping over a hobbies portion of your resume entirely; but this advice is primarily geared towards top-level professionals and those with ample work experience. If you’re going for an entry-level position and haven’t got much employed work to your name yet, though, sharing a little about your hobbies can be a great way to demonstrate valuable skills and show dedication.
The issue is that it’s easy to go overboard with hobby show-and-tell. It makes sense: you’re passionate about what you do in your free time and you want to talk about it. Dial down excessive explanations and don’t include hobbies that have no relevance to the position you’re going for. It’s a waste of precious resume space, and hiring managers aren’t too concerned with your affinity for mini golf.
Not Including Short Positions
Don’t fall into a common error of thinking that you should leave jobs off your resume because you weren’t in them for very long. At the entry-level stage, you should take maximum advantage of every bit of experience you have. Not to mention that many companies will treat a job omission from your resume as if it was a lie. This can not only cost you the job: it can be a major hit to your reputation.
An Objective Statement
Many resume coaches today push job seekers to include a career objective statement in their resume. However, these statements are often stale and overplayed. Opt for a more personal profile and overview of yourself and your capabilities rather than a self-explanatory statement about wanting to advance your career. Hiring executives know you want to move forward in your industry—you don’t need to tell them that.
Excessive Educational Information
Unless you’re fresh out of high school or you’ve barely escaped college, nobody really cares about where you went to high school; and if you have advanced degrees, the school from which you got your initial ones from hardly matters. Don’t muddy the waters of your resume with outdated educational information or excessive details. If your GPA was mediocre in college, do you really think a hiring manager wants to know?
If you’re an inexperienced resume-writer, you might feel inclined to fill in the empty spaces on the page with information the employer doesn’t need or want or isn’t allowed to ask for. You should never include your age, race, gender or other personal details. These facts should never be relevant to the job description anyway, and they can make you seem like you’re waffling. Other unnecessary facts about yourself include the reason you left your last position. The golden rule: don’t add anything that doesn’t sell you as a candidate.
This should go without saying, so this section will be short: never lie or exaggerate on your resume. Even if you’re confident that your references won’t rat you out, the truth is likely to come out sooner than you think once you’re hired and assigned actual responsibilities. If you think you can get away with lying on your resume, you’d be well-served by thinking again; the consequences may not be immediate, but they’re virtually inescapable.
Don’t mistake the power of presentation. Imagine how many resumes an employer goes through every day. They can afford to be picky, which means that if they see a resume that’s littered with multiple fonts, misaligned bullet points, or formatting that changes halfway through, they can easily be put off. Find the right balance between professional presentation and simplicity. Making it too boring or basic looks like you didn’t put any effort into it. Making your resume too flashy is distracting.
If you don’t know by now how to use a PC, the internet, and Microsoft Office, you shouldn’t be entering the workforce. In 2019, these skills are a given. Your employer has every reason to assume that you know how to answer emails, build a spreadsheet, compose a document, and build a Power Point presentation. Adding these as skills makes your resume look outdated and out of touch. If you know how to use WordPress, Wix, and Facebook’s Business Manager, highlight these skills instead.
Buzzwords sound great on the surface, but if you’re just using them to sound professional, you may just end up sounding generic. Don’t include words just for the sake of them. Find different words. Describe yourself in a unique way. Overused buzzwords include:
- Motivated (or highly motivated)
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Looking for more tips to ensure your resume helps lead you to career success? Get in touch with me today. As someone with years of experience in business and in helping people reach their career goals, I know firsthand what it takes to craft a compelling resume. Whether you’re a bright-eyed entry-level ingenue or a seasoned professional in your industry, partnering with me is a sure-fire recipe for success.