No matter how great you are in your field, a bad application will stop you from landing the job of your dreams. That includes a resume that’s more than one page long. If you’re struggling to fit everything in and want your resume to pack a real punch, here are five sections that you can exclude so you can find yourself a few steps closer to your new career.
Hobbies and Interests
The point of a resume is to prove your ability in a work environment – therefore, it doesn’t necessarily matter to employers what you do outside of work. Putting hobbies on your resume just looks like you’re trying to fill space, or worse yet, makes it seem as though you didn’t read through the job posting to determine what’s relevant to it. If you have hobbies that you’ve never done in a work environment but are relevant to your career path – for instance, hard skills like programming or photography – list those under your skills instead.
Having an objective statement in your resume can restrict you solely to the goals you mention in it. An employer may pass on you if their company can’t help you reach those goals, or because they may think you’ll move on if you find a job that suits your objective better. After all, in a hiring manager’s mind, jobs are about what you can do for the employer, not what they can do for their employee.
If you have a blank space on your resume after removing an objective statement, replace it with a professional summary – tell the hiring manager what you can do for them in a concise one-to-two sentences.
For many hiring managers, when an applicant includes soft skills on their resume, it can feel lazy or generic. While soft skills are extremely important to getting a job done, employers know that anyone can write “teamwork” or “time management” on a resume without any real evidence to back it up.
In your “skills” section, only list hard skills. Include your soft skills throughout your job history and cover letter. For instance, instead of blatantly saying “teamwork”, mention the time you worked on a project with a team of ten – this offers evidence of the soft skill and makes it more tangible.
Some employers may pass on your resume solely because they see your address and determine that you don’t live close enough to their office. To them, interviewing you would be a waste of time. However, if you’re willing to commute or make the move – or in the odd case, potentially prove that you’re worth hiring remotely – remove your address from your resume to ensure that you stay in the running.
Irrelevant Work Experience
Hiring managers expect job applications to be tailored to their job specifically. This means when they get a resume for a digital marketing position that’s filled to the brim with retail experience, they’re likely to pass on it. Only list jobs and experience bullet points that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
If you’re in a situation where you’re applying for a job but don’t have experience in that field, figure out ways to apply your prior work to the job you’re hoping for, like focusing on transferable skills. For example, if you’re applying for that digital marketing position with your retail experience, then flip your ability to make sales as evidence you’d be an effective advertiser, or the people skills you developed as proof you’re adept at communications!
Remember, resumes are meant to be concise and straightforward, so including filler is a bad look. If you keep these things out of your resume, employers will have an easier time getting straight to the stuff they need to know about you – and you’ll have an easier time getting hired!
Need some more help with your resume? Try booking Style Nine to Five’s Resume Refresh where Founder, Christie Lohr, will create a polished and professional resume that you can send out with confidence.
Emily Morrison is a media professional with passions for writing, film and popular culture.
Feature Image: Adobe Stock