Studies have found that the average recruiter scans a resumé for less than 10 seconds before deciding if the applicant is a good fit for the position. When you have little time to impress a recruiter, every word on your resumé counts. That’s why it’s important that you’re making the most of it and not filling it with words and phrases that are not going to make an impact. Here are some things that you should consider eliminating.
Does your resumé still start with an objective? If it does, make this the first change to your resumé. Instead of writing bland generalizations, replace it with a professional summary or career statement that summarizes your qualifications in terms that it fits the job description and that an employer will appreciate. Moreover, writing an objective statement at the top of your resumé only takes up precious resumé space and besides, you can write about yourself in your cover letter.
Jobs from More Than 5-10 Years Prior
Your resumé is not an autobiography of every job you have had since high school; it is a marketing tool. So, unless something you did more than 5 to 10 years ago is important for the recruiters to know about, you do not need to list every job you have had. Employers care most about what you have done recently and how that is relevant to their open position.
Cliché or Vague Phrases
Using terms such as “result-driven” or a “team player” does not tell a potential employer much at this point. If you are not providing any context around these phrases, it is best not to include them in your resumé. Instead, use specific examples and numbers to prove that you are these things. For example, share information about a team you led and what you have accomplished.
Don’t write full paragraphs in your resumé. Each previous role you list should have three or four bullet points, explaining your position, responsibilities, and impact. Each point should not exceed two lines. If there is something you think is vital for a recruiter to know, save that explanation for your cover letter.
“References Available Upon Request”
Don’t bother including this phrase or a list of your references. Recruiters know you will provide this information should they ask. And hey, deleting this line means more space for you!
Editing a resumé can be tough but it is important to remember that you need to have everything working for you on it. Your resumé should contain factual information about what you have accomplished and showcase how your experiences can help an organization achieve its goals.
If you want to receive more information, the Telfer Career Centre and its staff are available to help. You can book an appointment for a resumé critique on Career Launch or you can drop by at DMS 1100 on Thursdays for a 30-minute drop-in session with a Career Centre staff.