Your resume gets a very brief opportunity to impress a recruiter. In fact, an average recruiter will spend a mere six seconds reading it before deciding whether to move forward with you. So you won’t want her to have to sift through irrelevant details in order to find the information she seeks. After all, if you graduated from an elite university and have 20 years of relevant experience, you won’t want her to toss your resume to the side before getting to these facts!
Fortunately, it is possible to shorten your resume while retaining the most important details. Here are eight things to consider leaving off your resume.
A photo is irrelevant for most job applications. While some employers may wish to see a professional appearance, this is something you can display if you land an interview. Save space on your resume by leaving one off of it.
2. Salary History
Mentioning your salary history on your resume could backfire. If it is above what the employer is currently offering, you might be disqualified based on that alone. If it is below it, the employer might offer you less than it otherwise would have. Save salary discussions for later in the hiring process.
3. Irrelevant Jobs
If you’re a computer programmer and have held three computer programming jobs in the last 10 years, those should obviously be included on your resume. However, if you stocked shelves for a few months 20 years ago, you probably don’t need to mention that. After all, chances are that there is very little, if any, overlap between that job and your desired position.
The Yale Office of Career Strategy advises only listing your GPA on your resume if it is 3.5 or higher. So if you aced every test in college, this may be something you wish to include. If you did not or your GPA otherwise fell below this threshold, it may be best to avoid listing it.
5. Personal Information
You may be an unstoppable goalie on weekends or an exceptional artist in your spare time. However, unless you’re applying to be a professional hockey player or artist, including these hobbies on your resume probably won’t help you get the job. Leave hobbies and other personal information that is unrelated to the job you seek off your resume.
6. Excessive Jargon
If a recruiter doesn’t understand what half of the words on your resume mean, you probably won’t get called in for an interview. Keep this in mind as the Yale Office of Career Strategy recommends not using excessive industry jargon.
You won’t want a few typos to spoil an otherwise impressive resume. Be sure to have someone proofread your resume before you send it off so that a recruiter doesn’t end up calling the wrong phone number or emailing the wrong person about the job, for example.
References are typically unnecessary during the early stages of a job application. They’re typically contacted later in the hiring process. Unless an employer specifically requests references upfront, it’s probably not necessary to include them on your resume.