It is true that a resume must include all necessary details of your work history and performance in the past. But there are a certain elements that are better left out rather than included to spoil the document. What are these elements? How do they affect a resume?
Since resumes are ideally only two pages long, they should contain only information that is relevant for the job for which you are applying. The hiring manager must be able to glance through your resume and pinpoint your achievements without knowing everything about you. And sometimes it makes good sense not to include data that can hinder your chances of landing an interview. Whenever in doubt, slash it out.
The following is a list of sections that must not be on your resume when it reaches the recruiter.
The Word ‘Resume’
It is silly to label the resume as "resume." The first look should make it obvious enough. The employer must be able to comprehend the type of the document just by giving it a glance. So when you save the file while making changes use your name so that the hiring manager knows whose resume it is.
The Date of Creation
It is irrelevant to mention the date your resume was created on. It is useless for the employer to know when the document was made; rather you should include the dates related to past employment and dates when you achieved something big.
Personal Data Other Than Contact Details
When creating a resume, do not include any personal details beyond your email ID, phone number and address. Exclude the age, gender, race, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religion and your spouse’s name.
Most companies do not require your photograph with the resume. They prefer resumes without your photos so they can offer equal employment opportunities, irrespective of color, race, gender, etc.
High School Grades
Academic scores of high school must not be included in the resume. It is justified if you are in your early years of college or hold only a high school diploma, but you must move beyond these marks and eliminate this part once you complete another form of education or get some work experience. If you must include it, leave out bad GPAs and only include the school name, graduation date, and awards received.
Non-Contextual Work Experience
You don't have to list all the jobs that you have held. Even if you have acquired vast experience you need not display it all. Try and include only those positions that you have held in the last 10 to 15 years, unless the prior stints strongly demonstrate the capabilities needed for this post. Without showing much gap, skip the experiences that are not related to this job that you are aiming for.
If you happen to have a hobby that will ultimately relate to the company or job, you should include it. Otherwise companies do not wish to see your hobbies on the resume. For instance, if you are applying for work at a radio jockey, you can list your interest in music and its various genres.
Names and Contact Details for Previous Employers
You will be required to present a separate list of references, so why clutter the resume with repetitive information. So keep details like the name and contact information of your reporting managers at bay from the resume.
Past Remuneration Packages
Salary is one matter that is meant to be discussed with the employer during the round of personal interview or later when you are offered the job. You should not publicize a salary bracket you wish to fall under even before you have even been called for the interview.
Leave this to the company for when you are hired. Companies are known to run background checks for any sort of criminal record. But there is no need to mention it on the resume as you will only have people judging you based on your criminal record as soon as you step in for the interview. And who knows, seeing it on paper they may not even invite you for the interview.
Devika Arora is a professional writer, currently focusing on the extensive domain of employment. She has written various articles, news stories and blog posts for job search and recruitment.
These days with so many people battling for the same jobs, gaining a face-to-face interview can feel like an achievement itself. However the hard work doesn’t stop there. If you are given the chance for a face-to-face job interview it is essential that you are fully prepared, as it will make or break your chance of employment.
In order to make a good impression you will need to have significant knowledge about the industry and be able express how your skills will add value to the company.
Conducting research prior to your face-to-face interview is critical.
The importance of conducting research
Conducting research will enable you to gain a better understanding of the company and job role. You will then be able to use the knowledge you acquire to put across how your skills and values match those of the organisation and industry. Interviewers are impressed by candidates that show they have thoroughly researched a company prior to an interview.
What information should you look for?
When conducting research for your interview, you will need to gain an understanding of how the industry works. It is important to focus on how the company you are interviewing with functions within the industry and what their role is. Those keen to make a good impression will look into the problems a particular business faces and come up with possible solutions that will set them ahead of their competitors.
Research the skills and qualities that professionals working in the industry share and compare them to the skills and qualities you possess. You will also need to research industry trends, as it is likely that you will need this knowledge in order to answer various questions throughout the interview process.
How to conduct research for an interview
To demonstrate how to conduct the right type of research, I have chosen a website at random and let us pretend we have an interview with them, the company is the Workplace Depot, they are an office supplies company and the job role is to work in their head office as a sales executive.
Let us start by visiting the company’s website. There you will find useful information that will help you come up with intelligent questions to ask during your interview. You will also find information such as the company’s mission statement, goals and values. It is important to show an understanding of the company’s goals during your interview and illustrate how you will add value to their strategies. Visiting the companies meet the team page offers invaluable insights into those likely to be interviewing you.
Visiting competitors’ websites is a great way to find out more information about the industry as a whole. Identifying a company’s main competitors may be something that you are asked to do during your interview. In order to find out information relating to industry trends you will need to get hold of trade journals and read expert industry blogs.
Incorporating research into your interview
Make use of the information you have acquired by asking intelligent questions about the organisation and job role. You can also show interviewers that you have done your research by pointing out some of the company’s projects that have interested you. The information you acquire should be used to tailor your answers, ensuring that everything relates back to how your skills and expertise will benefit the company.
Only use visual aids to demonstrate your knowledge, if they add value to the points you are making. Taking an iPad or portfolio is a great way to present previous work to potential employers, should they wish to see it. If it helps you to get across the points you want to make, take a notepad into the interview with carefully created bullet points of questions you want to ask and points you want to express.
Vocalising key points effectively
Many candidates find it useful to prepare around three to five selling points in their head to use during their interview. These key points tell the interviewer why they are interested in the job role and what makes them the ideal candidate for the position. When preparing content for your interview, it is best to filter it into manageable chunks. This will ensure that your answers are not only coherent and professional, but cover all the key areas.
Keep your answers coherent and professional
You are bound to be nervous during your interview so do not be afraid to take your time to answer questions properly. It is much better to sit there silently for a few moments whilst you prepare your answer, than to speak instantly and say something incoherent.
Anticipate different types of interviews
Face-to-face interviews can follow various formats, so it is important to find out the type of interview you will be walking into, so you can best prepare yourself.
You can learn more about the different types of interviews here. Always remember start your interview off right by greeting the interviewer with a good firm handshake.
Adapting to interview environments
Although interview environments can be a little unsettling, do not let your nerves get the better of you. Prepare talking points in small, manageable chunks so that you are never left without something to say. If it helps, keep in mind that although you are being interviewed, you are actually interviewing the company too. Finally, don’t forget to breathe! A few discreet deep breaths can help you to have poise and release some of the tension from your body.
In your quest for that perfect next job, your goal for the first interview is to make a positive first impression to advance to a follow-up meeting or better yet, receive an offer. Many of the factors which influence the interviewer’s decision relate to how you present yourself and the questions you ask in the meeting. Our Talent Recruitment Team at Enova meets with more than 1,000 new candidates each year and identified these seven key points to follow to ensure making it to the second interview.
To start, here are some sure-fire ways to turn off the interviewer and end your chances of moving forward:
Being long winded. Get to the point in your answers making it easy for the interviewer to understand and if necessary record your response. It displays good communication skills which is increasingly important in most businesses. Also, not listening to directions or the question and answering in an arrogant way will surely backfire.
Calling yourself a “people person.”
It’s annoying, overused, and doesn’t make you anymore unique than others being considered. Rather, break down the skills that make you good at collaborating with other people and provide examples of how you possess and use them.
Be conscious of your physical presence. Wearing a blinking blue tooth during an interview can be very distracting and awkward. (Yes, it really happened once!) Arrive fresh, smelling clean and well assembled in appropriate business dress for the situation.
A bad attitude.
Don’t be a Debbie Downer. It is an interview, not a chance to throw yourself a pity party. No interviewer wants a case of the blues after an interview. Be positive, upbeat, and cheerful.
Don’t forget that asking questions of the interviewer is an important part of a successful meeting. It shows your interest in the role and allows you to uncover additional requirements of the position that you can address with your qualifications.
Here are three questions to ask in every interview:
Follow these practical tips and your first interview will certainly turn into a second.
Sarah Doll, senior director of talent management at Chicago-based Enova International. With 1,000 plus employees, $660 million in revenues, online lender Enova is reshaping how Americans borrow with the use of technology and analytics. It is Sarah Doll and her team’s job to fill 200+ new positions each year with the country’s top technology talent and ensure they are successfully acclimated into the company.
When you apply for a job, much about the organizational culture is right out there for you to see -- and judge. Whether the interviewer offers you a beverage, whether human resources seems suspicious: all are clues for decoding the organizational culture.
How do you decide if you'll fit in?
In Organizational Culture and Leadership, Edgar Schein presents the eight components of an organizational culture. Let's look at them in terms of you.
1. Patterns of behavior when people interact. These include the language people use and the customs, traditions, and rituals they observe. I went to a large computer company in the 1980s looking for business. I noticed that the people addressed each other very formally and seldom made eye contact. I knew that wasn't the account for me. Would it put you off if your coworkers were excessively guarded?
Customs, traditions, and rituals are very interesting. They tell us a lot about an organization. If the custom is to give all employees stock options, that's a fairly egalitarian company. If the organization still has a tradition of giving turkeys to employees at Christmas, you can assume the organization tends to be paternalistic and old-line. If there are many rituals at an organization celebrating individual initiative, you probably can conclude the culture of the organization is a meritocracy where performance is rewarded.
Rituals are always symbolic. They mean something. I was once on a corporate jet and reached over to get some peanuts from the bar. A hush' fell over the room, and I saw the chief executive's administrative assistant turn pale. I looked at the assistant and asked, "Am I doing something wrong?" He said there was a ritual on the plane that no one ate or drank anything before the chief executive officer did. This ritual symbolized the importance of the pecking order to that company. If you didn't like hierarchy, you didn't belong there.
What kind of organization is the best fit for you? There are no perfect fits. Some just work better than others.
2. Group norms or unwritten values. Organizations usually don't hang up a sign reading THE FOLLOWING STANDARDS AND VALUES ARE WHAT WE'RE ALL ABOUT. Since the rules are primarily unwritten, you have to be alert and do the digging. You might, for example, suspect that profits are more important than quality at your organization. Listen to how people talk about those two concepts. Do the two seem mutually exclusive? Maybe your mentor or a trusted ally can answer some questions for you.
3. The espoused or announced values. Sometimes some values are made explicit. These are usually contained in the organization's mission statement or an actual Statement of Values. This is supposed to tell you what the organization is about. At Ford, the official value is "Quality is Job One." That means quality comes before profits. At some organizations, diversity is a stated value; that means they tend to hire and promote minorities. Focusing on the organization's values can help you discover its heartbeat.
4. Formal philosophy. This includes the organization's written-down policies and ideologies that determine how the firm will deal with all its constituencies, from stockholders to employees. This will tell you a lot about the organization. For instance, if the organization has declared that it puts shareholder interests before all else, it might do any number of things -- such as downsizing yet again or even selling the company -- to boost its stock price, IBM had a philosophy of not laying off its employees. Because of that policy, security-minded people went to work for IBM even though they might have made more money elsewhere.
5. Climate. If an organization were a restaurant, "climate" would be defined as "ambiance." This includes the physical surroundings and the ways in which people treat one another.
The ambiance in the old-style corporation used to be large, institutional-type buildings in which you didn't hang up too many Dilbert cartoons. People treated each other with caution. Today, if you want, you can find organizations with warm, friendly, and casual climates. People can be expressive. Friendships spring up easily. And instead of dressing up, people dress down.
I once applied for a job where the receptionist was dressed à la Saks and had the icy look of a model on the cover of Vogue. I didn't feel comfortable in that chilly climate.
6. Habits of thinking. At some organizations thinking is done very slowly and carefully. There's no jumping to conclusions, and whatever is decided will be reviewed by committees. At other organizations discussion is lively and employees are ready to take risks. Which one is for you? Problems are solved very differently at the new IBM than they were at the old IBM.
7. Shared meanings. During the Iacocca turnaround at Chrysler everyone, from executives to security guards, shared the reality that tomorrow they could wake up and their jobs might be gone. This aspect of the culture helps people feel a part of something bigger than themselves and their careers. At Disney employees believe that they bring guests happiness. At some colleges and universities the administration believes it is helping to shape the future.
8. Symbolism. That includes everything from the style of architecture chosen for headquarters to how the building is decorated at Christmas. A consumer products company on the East Coast was housed in an ornate building. When the company was acquired, the new parent viewed that building as symbolizing all the excesses in the subsidiary's organizational culture.
Many human elements in an organizational culture can also be interpreted symbolically. If the job interviewer treats you well, that can symbolize the respect the organization has for its human capital.
Whenever I go to visit a new account, I make sure that I see everything symbolically.
Your Top Ten List
Many young people tell me they're not sure what they want, so how can they make a decision about their fit with an organizational culture?
The best way to get down to your inner core is to make a list. On that list write the ten -- not eleven, ten -- things that are most important to you professionally.
Your list might read:
A work environment built on trust
Opportunity to keep learning
Respect for the individual
Can have good relationships with colleagues
Funds to go for my MBA at night
Good health insurance for my family
Regular raises and a bonus system
A boss who's not crazy
No more than fifty hours a week of work
This list will quickly exclude many organizations, but it also leaves room for compromise. If the organization you're looking at matches a number of items on the list, you might consider it a suitable place for you to go.
Robert L. Dilenschneider is the founder and Chairman of The Dilenschneider Group, a global public relations and communications consulting firm headquartered in New York City. He is the author of many books, including the best-selling Power and Influence. This article is an exerpt from The Critical 14 Years of Your Professional Life. For more information please visit http://www.dilenschneider.com and Amazon.k