3 Things to Eliminate from your Resume Today

If you’re having a hard time condensing your experience to a page, make sure you’ve removed these three things from your resume. Even if everything fits, remove these things anyway — including them is antiquated and tends to annoy employers:

  1. Remove all first-person references, meaning “I.” It’s obvious your resume is about you. It just takes up space to say so.
  2. If you have an “objective” on your resume, take it off. It’s clear your objective is to get a job. Instead, use a positioning statement to explain why you’re a good fit.
  3. Remove “References available upon request” from the bottom of your resume. If you’re applying for the job, the employer knows you’ll supply the necessary references.

Does anyone else have any space-saving tips?


6 responses to “3 Things to Eliminate from your Resume Today

  1. I think it’s all about the margins. You can fit so much in when you drop your margins to .5″ or less.

    Also, unless it relates to the job your applying to, take off the “hobbies” section if you have one. And limit your college activities. Real experience is key.

    • tarheelsintransit

      @Cassandra – Thanks for the comment! Do people really put “hobbies” on their resumes? Yikes – get rid of that off immediately.

      I have slightly different viewpoints on the margins and experience, though. From a design standpoint, making the margins too small can give your resume a cluttered look – I’d rather see someone edit content than have too little white space.

      And speaking of content, professional experience is preferable to college/classroom experience, but if you haven’t had a chance to work in the real world, certainly don’t be ashamed of putting the experience you have had (volunteer, classroom, etc.) on your resume until you can fill it in with real-life work.

  2. Surprisingly enough, they do. I couldn’t really believe it myself honestly.

    I suppose you should consider what field you’re going into when you create your resume, too. I can’t really say I designed my resume. It’s just a word document with lots of words.

    College/classroom experience is great! What I meant to say is the random college experience. For example, putting you’re a member of the GAA or something that doesn’t really teach/show you any skills.

    Great job so far!

    • tarheelsintransit

      Great point about letting your field determine your resume. The more creative fields (graphic design, maybe marketing) lend themselves more to designed resumes.

      And now I get it on the college experience. Totally agree that no employer cares if you’re a member of the GAA. Even if they went to Carolina, use it as a conversation piece, not a resume item. (If you’ve held a leadership position, it’s a different story.)

      A good litmus test for resume inclusion is: Can I list a measurable achievement from it (like money raised, members recruited, etc.), or did I learn a new, desirable skill (graphic design, public speaking). If you didn’t get either of those things out of something, leave it off.

      Thanks, Cassandra!

  3. This is not as much a deal when you are starting out, but I notice it as people progress in their careers and build experience with software systems. I just revised a resume for a friend who listed at least half a dozen internal, proprietary systems. Of course, no one other than their prior employer and a few outside IT squints would know what they were. If the software is not a common application (standard, industry-specific applications are okay), then the focus should be on the language and architecture used. In the end, it all builds critical ERP experience.

    • tarheelsintransit

      That’s a great point! And I think it can be an issue for anyone writing a resume. We all have little acronyms that have become ingrained into our daily speech, and we forget that the person reading our resume may not have any idea what we’re talking about. For instance, we have the DTH (Daily Tar Heel – the newspaper), PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) and a myriad of others.

      I bet with your friend, you had to clean up a lot of jargon in addition to the acronyms. The jargon probably does come in later in the career, especially in the technical fields. It’s something to think about, though, if you’re applying for a job outside your major. If the resume is filled with items that only a physics professor or CEO would understand, revamp it to fit the new career, or just pull out the big-picture soft skills.

      Thanks again for the comment, Kenneth!

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