4 things not to put in your resume

PHOTO: 4 things not to put in your resume

As jobseekers know, one area of job-searching which never fails to confound them is what to include in a resume.

Include too much information, and recruiters will switch off.

But, with too little information, recruiters won't be sure whether you qualify for the next step in the process.

Top 10 overused words in Singaporeans' resumesClick on thumbnail to view (Photos: AFP, Reuters, ST, TNP, BT)

As most jobseekers have an excess of details in their resume and don't know what to eliminate, Mr Brie Weiler Reynolds, a content and social-media manager at FlexJobs, suggests in Mashable.com four things people can always leave off it.

These tips should help one organise one's information, and present the most essential details in a format that is easy to read and quickly understandable for recruiters.

1. An "objective"

This is the statement at the top of a resume that tells an employer what you're looking for - but it's got to go.

Employers already know you're interested in their job, so it's unnecessary.

Instead, use a "summary of qualifications" to introduce employers to your most relevant skills and experience, and to show them exactly how your experience fits their needs.

2. Unrelated awards, hobbies and interests

Mr Reynolds said that he had encountered a jobseeker who claimed to be a "pig-wrestling champion" in his resume, which is a great accomplishment.

But it had nothing to do with the job he applied for, and it distracted from the rest of his qualifications.

Unless it directly adds to your qualifications for the job or helps the employer see how you fit in with the company culture (for example, if you're applying to an outdoor-apparel company and you are an avid hiker, that's a hobby that matches the company's culture), leave it off your resume.

3. Too much formatting

Keep your resume simple, so recruiters can read it quickly and easily. Don't use bold, italics and underlines all at once.

Don't use more than one font, and be consistent in the way you present information.

Bulleted lists are much easier to read than paragraphs. Keep your resume single-spaced, and shrink your margins to a half inch.

You'll be surprised at how much space poor formatting can take up on your resume, pushing it far longer than it needs to be.

4. Lists of tasks for each job

Instead of telling recruiters what you did at your past jobs, tell them what you accomplished - what were the overarching results of your day-to-day tasks?

Rather than rewriting your job description, tell recruiters how you did what you did and why it made a difference to your employer and customers.

What you leave off your resume can be just as important as what you include, so make sure that precious real estate is taken up with relevant, well-stated, interesting information. Recruiters should be able to check off their list of qualifications easily when reading your resume, and come away with a sense of who you are and the value you can bring to their company.