By Gerrit Hall
As a job seeker, you probably have heard a lot of advice when it comes to your resume. All the bells and whistles your resume should have, how to format your resume to make it more read-able, why your resume should be a certain length… it gets tiring.
One of the most frequent critiques our users receive is about brevity (or lack thereof). The average resume is too long and littered with so much stuff that the person reading it doesn’t care anymore.
Instead of adding even more to your resume, here are seven things your resume just doesn't need:
An Objective Statement
Sometimes, an objective statement can really wrap things up. However, when you're looking for space on your resume, this should be the first thing to go. An employer already has your cover letter to learn about your goals for their company. Not only will your objective statement need to be re-written for every company you apply to, it's usually just a bunch of fluff.
Unless you're applying for a modeling, acting, or other kind of job allowed to hire based on looks, your resume just doesn't need a picture, illustration, doodle, or headshot. You might think that a picture adds a certain amount of "personality" that your resume needs, but all it really does is take up space, distract readers, and could even pose as a potential lawsuit risk.
"References upon request"
Unless otherwise specified, most employers expect references later in the hiring process. Never put reference information on your resume because you’re sharing info that isn’t yours to give out. That extra line at the bottom of your resume is like writing “I am looking for a job” on your resume.
Nine times out of ten, an employer isn't going to even think about your salary requirements until after the interview. You want to convince your resume's readers that you want the job because you’re qualified, not that you have a price. Websites can give you the opportunity to research typical salaries in your industry and company.
Sure, some jargon sounds like a great idea. After all, how else are you going to convince a company that you know the ins and outs of your field? The problem lies in the fact that the person reading your resume isn't someone in your department – it's probably HR. Without falling into a spiral of jargon, explain your accomplishments in easy-to-understand language.
Nitty Gritty Facts
The information your resume absolutely needs: your name, your email address, and your phone number. Everything else is up to you. If you find yourself listing your marital status, blood type, or contacts prescription you've gone too far.
If you don't know where to start, formatting-wise, then a template is a great crutch. However, a template can turn against you. Adding extra information can be a pain and sometimes the template just won't translate through email. If you do use a template, pay special attention to all the sections and try converting it to a PDF.
As a job seeker or HR pro, what things should job seekers avoid putting on their resumes?
Gerrit Hall is the CEO and co-founder of RezScore, a free web application that reads, analyzes, and grades resumes – instantly. Gerrit has successfully combined his passion for computer science and the careers space by helping job seekers write the best resume possible. You can connect with Gerrit and RezScore on Facebook and Twitter.