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4 Items to Ax from Your Resume


12/7/2011 10:52:15 AM

4 Items to Ax from Your Resume By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Expert Resume Writer

It’s common to find information regarding what should be included in your resume, but there are also items that could very well be left off to create a cleaner, more purposeful document. In fact, lots of bits and pieces don’t have to be incorporated in your resume. Here are four that are good to steer clear of:

1. An Objective Statement

For many years, the objective statement was the always-used sentence that was listed near the top of your resume, meant to tell the employer why you should be hired for a position. But in recent years, this statement has grown less popular, largely because it tells little about who you are and why you’re qualified.

A good replacement for the objective statement is the headline/job target, which tells employers in the form of an advertisement who you are and why you’re an attractive candidate; in addition, the career summary is a great way to list the reasons you are a great candidate.

2. A Photograph

In the United States, there is rarely a need to add a photo to your resume. The only exception might be if you’re applying for a modeling, acting, or other entertainment-based job. U.S. employers are not legally permitted to judge candidates based on their physical features, but if you do provide a photo, you have given the hiring manager the ability to show bias while providing a different reason for declining you for a position. So to make the process fairer and more professional, it’s good to just leave your photo off of the resume.

3. References

Over the years, employers have lost interest in seeing references on resumes, so there’s no need to attach a sheet with references listed or a note at the bottom of the resume that references can be contacted upon request. Many employers conduct such thorough background checks that they never need to contact references anyway. But if you really feel like you want to address this issue, you could include a couple of testimonials on your page, then add a link to your LinkedIn page where you have a boatload of recommendations.

Unrelated or Short-Term Work History

If you’ve worked a couple of temporary jobs that are completely unrelated to the job you are now applying for—or any other jobs over the years that are either outdated or showcase low-level skills (e.g., working in fast food restaurants as a teen)—there’s no need to include them on your resume. Employers are interested in seeing how you’ve built the career you’re in now and want to see that you have the qualifications needed to succeed in the position for which they are hiring. Adding other details just clutters up the resume and leaves the manager feeling that you may not be the right candidate for the job.

There’s no doubt that plenty of information should be included in your resume, such as contact information, a thorough and relevant work and education history, and pertinent skills. But if you veer too far from the basics, you could lose steam in your job search.

About the Author

Jessica Hernandez, is a resume authority for the Job Talk America radio program and multi-published expert author for resume, career, and job search publications. She boasts more than ten years in human resources management and hiring for Fortune 500 companies and utilizes her extensive experience to support job seekers in their quest to move onward and upward in their careers. Find out more at Great Resumes Fast.

Check out the latest Career Insider eNewsletter - December 8, 2011.

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