If you’re like most people, when it comes to finding a job you probably start by updating your resume. You find a copy of the document somewhere on your computer, add your last job, and begin the uncomfortable process of networking with co-workers you haven’t spoken with since the last time you were in the job market. While most experts would advise you to create a targeted resume for each job, making sure your resume doesn’t contain information that would lead a potential employer to throw it in the trash is a good place to start.
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Before you submit your resume to the job of your dreams, make sure you haven’t put one of the following eight pieces of information on your resume.
1) Weird email address.
While firstname.lastname@example.org is certainly a memorable email address, it’s doubtful it will help you land your next job. Before you send an unintended message, consider creating a job-specific website address that will send the right message and help you keep track of your career search information.
Unless you’re applying for an acting or modeling job, don’t include a picture on your resume. Whether you like it or not, a picture sends the message that you are not a professional and may give an employer the opportunity to make an assessment of your skills based on how you look rather than what you can do.
3) Physical attributes.
Like photographs, physical attributes don’t belong on a resume. While you may be proud of the fact that you are in good shape and perfectly proportioned, that information will not help an employer assess your job skills.
While many resume books advise candidates to include an objective, tailoring your resume for each job will do a far better job of making your objective clear. If you want to discuss your long-term goals, wait until you meet with the hiring manager. The purpose of a resume is to get you an interview, not plan out your entire career.
5) Irrelevant job experience.
Hiring managers typically look for a trend of increasing responsibility in the same field or area of focus. Make it easier for them to find by downplaying irrelevant jobs or projects. While it is important to account for all of your time, focusing on accomplishment outside of your target area may give the impression that you are desperate and willing to take any job.
6) Religious or political affiliations.
Including information about your religious or political beliefs will only serve to reduce your potential appeal for a hiring manager. While it may be an important part of your life, it will give a hiring manager an opportunity to rule you out because he or she doesn’t agree with your point of view. Sharing your beliefs on your resume could also give the impression that you will be focusing more time on your political or religious activity than work.
Often intended to give employers the idea that you are a well-rounded individual, hobbies can convey the impression that you have a lack of accomplishments and are trying to fill space on a resume. Consider replacing hobbies with activities that point to expertise in your profession or that highlight your leadership experience.
8) References Available on Request.
All employers will expect you to provide references on request. Including this information on your resume is an unnecessary waste of space and points to a lack of professionalism.
While many people think of their resume as a complete work history, a resume is actually a targeted sales document intended to get you in front of a hiring manager. If you are applying to a job posting, your resume should be customized to match the job description as closely as possible, given your experience. If you are not applying for a specific position, consider using a shorter networking document that focuses on accomplishments relevant to the type of position you are seeking. In the end, hiring managers don’t hire resumes, they hire people. While your resume can open a window of opportunity, it’s you that will have to come through the door.
Do any of These Surprise You?
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