Whoever told you there is no right or wrong way to write a resume lied to you. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but there are some rules and restrictions when it comes to putting together your resume. While many employers will only look at your LinkedIn profile (here’s how to get that in check), some will view your resume. If it isn’t up to par, potential employers will pass you by.
Here’s a list of what you should exclude from your resume so employers can focus on what is really important- you!
I’ll admit it, I had an executive summary at the top of my resume. Then I went to college, took a careers class and a week later I no longer had an executive summary on my resume. Here’s the deal, executive summaries are outdated and ineffective. Anything you are going to include in an executive summary should already be in your cover letter. If you don’t have to submit a cover letter (lucky you), share the qualities which make you unique and the best choice for the job in the actual interview.
What if you don’t have enough work experience to fill up space on your resume? Isn’t that why you use an executive summary? No. Don’t use an executive summary to act as space filler. Your resume will just be short, which isn’t a bad thing. Employers would rather read a short resume than an executive summary.
Conflicting Contact Information
Does the top of your resume showcase your contact information? Great, you’re in good shape. Do you have more than one email address or telephone number listed? You need to fix that. Employers want to send one email and make one phone call. No one is going to take the time to send the same email to two different addresses or call two different phone numbers. You’re just confusing people. Pick one telephone number and one email address to feature at the top of your resume. That’s it. If you don’t have a personal email address you can create one through Gmail for free. It’s quick, it’s easy and it will save your resume.
Like most teenagers whose parents wouldn’t give them money, I was forced to work part time jobs during the summer. Are those jobs on my resume now? No. Should you include part time jobs from when you were in high school on your resume? No! That is completely unacceptable and any employer who sees that on your resume will toss it in the trash without a second thought. I’m not trying to be mean, I’m being honest. If you didn’t get to complete an internship while you were in school there are other ways you can fill the space in your resume. Were you involved in groups on campus? Have you spent time volunteering for organizations? All of those activities have a place on your resume, not your high school jobs.
Certain internships will require applicants to provide their GPA as part of the application process. Here’s some good news, full time jobs do not. Take your GPA off of your resume right now. It’s juvenile. The only information you need to provide is the degree you obtained, where it came from and when you graduated. That’s it. Do not include where and when you graduated high school. That’s another rookie mistake. If the employer really wants to know your GPA and where you graduated high school, they’ll ask you during the interview.
Unprofessional Work Samples
Don’t get me wrong, we embrace weirdness at Roundpeg. Have you seen the picture of Jenna’s bulletin board? But there is a time and place for your strange side projects, and it’s not on your resume. Keep it professional. Your resume is a direct reflection of your work experience. It’s a tool meant to help sell you to future employers. Featuring a graphic design project of half human, half animal illustrations you created doesn’t showcase your professionalism, or ability to get the job done. Leave those files on your computer and away from your resume.
I get it, applying for jobs is tedious and nerve-racking. You spend hours slaving over emails and cover letters to make sure you come across as the perfect candidate. Don’t let your resume keep you from getting the job you deserve. Cut out all of the useless stuff I mentioned above to get your resume in great shape.
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So what advice did we have? Many of the women on the panel shared advice on courage and life balance, planning and anticipating change and the need to stay current. We suggested these women recognize that their first marketing challenge is building a product called “Brand You.”
Lorraine has read countless resumes and talked to lots of people and there has been no spark. She refuses to believe it is because they aren’t out there, because she has fallen in love before.