What 6 things can you leave off your resume?

Posted: 06/19/14 | Category: Job Search Resume

A good resume is concise as possible. One page is ideal, and two pages can be acceptable for a veteran-level candidate. Anything over that page limit exponentially increases your chances of being rejected. Here are ways to easily shorten your resume by cutting down on these uninspiring details.

An objective summary – This old-school resume trope is clunky and insipid. Also, an objective summary takes up room in prime resume real estate. Remember, resumes are given 6 seconds on average to impress hiring managers. A cluttered resume with a rambling objective summary only squanders that brief time.

Your high school GPA – Are you just out of high school? Have you not completed your college degree? These are the only reasons your high school GPA should be on a resume unless the company explicitly requires that information.

Ancient jobs – Typically, the rule is to limit your work history to under a decade. Anything beyond that seems outdated. The only exception is if you’ve been with the same company for an extended period of time. Even then, you should still keep your work history as close to 10 years as possible. 

Irrelevant job responsibilities – An easy way to shorten your resume is to trim down the day-to-day job responsibilities for each former employer. Exclude tasks and achievements that fail to connect with companies who want to hire you.

Hobbies – Hobbies like fantasy football leagues, scrapbooking, and remote-controlled helicopter piloting only add to the cluttered resume. They’re unprofessional and irrelevant to the position itself. However, if your hobby directly correlates with your profession, including a few personal achievements can boost your desirability to employers.

References on Request – Leave this statement off your resume. It not only adds unnecessary words, but it states the obvious. Anything implied should be tossed in the dust bin.

One thing you should never do to shorten your resume is mess around too much with the margins and font. Often, this can cause the inverse of your intended effect by giving the impression that every bit of information is crammed into an unsuitable space.

Fonts should also be kept standard. Arial, Times New Roman, or another easily legible, sans serif font are best options. Otherwise, you might undo all you’ve done to shorten your resume.

by James Walsh