Searching for your next great gig is serious business, and before you even get in the door for an interview (and pray they don’t ask you insanely hard interview questions), you’ve got to make the effort to revamp and perfect your resume. And there are resume tips that get you noticed and resume approaches that make you infamous. Since we’ve overheard so many opinions about what makes a resume good versus great, we reached out to Lauren Milligan, career advancement coach and head resume expert at ResuMAYDAY, for a bit of pro wisdom to help us make ours stand out in the pile. Here are the top five things Lauren says to delete off your resume RN.
1. An objective statement. “Chances are, your ‘objective’ reads like, ‘To obtain a challenging position in a growing company.’ But guess what? By sharing that, you’re not actually giving the recruiter or hiring manager ANY interesting and noteworthy information about who you are and what you have to offer!” Lauren said.
To make a compelling change, she said to simply swap out your “objective” and replace it with a summary statement. “Write three to five sentences that talk about what you love about your work, how you truly excel and where you want to take your career.” Let the employer get to know the person behind the piece of paper. If there was ever a time to shine, it’s now!
2. The “laundry list” of skills. One of the first things Lauren asked us was, “Do you have a table or columns full of keywords? Know that if you’re submitting your site via an online upload, those keywords might not even translate.” That’s because many online application programs are designed to read resumes more like a human does. So, know that and stick the most important words about you and your accomplishments in the body of your resume.
Lauren suggests formatting them with bullet points, surrounded by your accomplishments. “This is where you’re going to get the mileage and recognition for your work,” she noted.
3. A second page. We wondered: Do interview and hiring managers ever make decisions based on the second page of a resume? Lauren said, “Nope. Edit, edit, edit. Get rid of anything that isn’t directly supporting your most critical skills and career goals. Don’t litter the top of your resume with lists, selected accomplishments, technology and credentials.” When you do this, you’re actually pushing your career history (the most important part of your resume!) towards the second page.
“My best advice to people writing their own resumes is to assume that your future employer will never even look at the second page of your resume,” she said. That means you have to be particular about the info that makes it to the first — and only — page.
4. Complex formatting. “Going back to online app systems, many simply can’t read and parse information when the resume is formatted with images and boxes,” Lauren explained. And yes, a text box is a box. A table (even with invisible gridlines) is a box. And a page border is a really big box! Keep the formatting simple if you plan to submit via an online system, or simply prepare a second version of your resume in case the situation presents itself during your job search. If you’re dead set on using your highly designed resume or can’t bear to ditch the graphs and tables, know that you can bring the more creative version to your face-to-face meetings.
5. Hobbies and personal interests. As advocates of creativity and finding your passion, we love personal interests and hobbies! Lauren has seen this section start to pop back up on resumes, and she doesn’t love it. “Unless your hobbies and personal time can directly and positively impact your work performance, they just don’t belong on your resume,” she told us.
She gave us some inside advice too: “Actually, unrelated hobbies and interests can be the reason that a candidate is NOT chosen for an interview.” So keep it profesh until you make it in and meet everyone. The further you get in the interview process, the better idea you’ll have as to how much to share about how you spend your downtime.
Got questions about Lauren’s tips or think something else can be removed from resumes? Tweet us and let us know @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)