For many professionals, the fear of writing a resume ranks right up there with public speaking as one of the scariest things they face. Whether it’s been years since you’ve written a resume or you keep adding on to that college resume from 25 years ago, you’ll quickly find that resumes have changed and hiring managers expect you to be in the know. So here’s our list of the top 8 things to remove from that old resume, immediately.
If you’ve downloaded a resume template from Microsoft or another online service, it likely has text boxes throughout the document. Unfortunately, these text boxes are hard for the applicant tracking systems (ATS) to read so they often jumble the information that the recruiter sees or, worse yet, they don’t upload the information at all. The same is true when putting your name/contact information in a header or footer. To avoid this, start from a blank page in Microsoft Word and set the tabs yourself. Not comfortable formatting a document yourself? Subscribe to LinkedIn Learning for online tutorials or hire a great resume writer.
The goal of the resume is to showcase what you can do for the employer so replace the objective with a professional summary that showcases what sets you apart from your peers.
Your street address
This comes as a shock to many, but your street address is no longer required in your resume. Yes, you’ll have to add it when you upload a resume to the ATS but where you live has become less and less important in our cloud-based society. As a society, we make numerous assumptions about a person based on where they live or how far they’re willing to commute based on our own preferences. Removing the address eliminates that concern. Some job seekers do opt to include their city and state on the resume. If you live in the suburbs of a major metro city, be sure to list the city name, not the suburb you live in unless you’re only interested in working in your specific suburb.
Your vanity email address, Hotmail or AOL address
If your email address is anything other than something that resembles your name, change it. It’s fine to keep [email protected] for your personal use but this is not appropriate for your career search. Simply create a basic email account using Gmail or Yahoo with your name or first initial last name and use it for all professional correspondence.
While we’re discussing emails, lose the Hotmail and AOL addresses. These emails tell the reader you’re likely 50+ as most millennials have not even heard of them. Age discrimination is a real issue, avoid it from the start.
We get it. You want to make sure you include your industry’s keywords, so you add all of them in a section at the top titled, Skills. Guess what? No one reads it. Instead of taking up valuable real estate on the page, weave the keywords into the text of your document where you highlight what you’ve accomplished and how you’ve done it.
Every single line of your job description
Unless you’re transitioning into an entirely different field, the hiring manager will already have a basic understanding of what someone with your title does. However, they can’t know what you’ve accomplished until you tell them. Keep the description to two sentences and use bullet points to highlight what you’ve accomplished during your time in the position. Remember to include quantifiable data/metrics where appropriate.
Every job you’ve ever had.
Remove details of positions that you held more than 10-12 years ago. Unless a position you’ve held more than ten years ago directly impacts positions you are pursuing today, remove it. Positions you held more than a decade ago or in the last century are rarely relevant to potential employers and can contribute to age discrimination.
“References available upon request”.
References should always be a separate document available at the request of the hiring manager. However, there’s no need to take up precious space on your resume with “references available upon request”.