Most people get so wrapped up in what they should be putting on their resume that they don’t think about the things that should be left off. This is similar to preparing for an interview. You may have answers thought out that you have recited in your head, but they may be turning an employer off. Things that you think are hot buttons are not necessarily what employers are looking for.
Updating Your Resume
It is always a good time to update your resume. Most people wait until they are in a position that demands applying for a new job to even think about making changes. Unfortunately, when you are in a situation like this, you will likely spruce up a few words, add new experience and that’s about it, because you are in a hurry to get it out there. Ideally, you will take the time to update your resume on a regular basis.
- Look for Missing Skills – You may find that by looking over your resume, you will notice that something is missing. This could be a skill that you neglected to add, or it could be one that you don’t have. Maybe you need to take a class or get certified so you can add something to your resume.
- Proactive – When you update your resume, it will cause you to evaluate if there is a change that needs to be made. Are you still happy in the career you have chosen, or are there changes that need to be made?
- Available – If your resume is always current, you are ready to apply for that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when it comes up.
What You Should Include
When you spring clean your resume, there are a few things to evaluate. If you do have the following items on your resume, they really need to go.
- Photos – It does not matter how attractive or professional you look, or whether you are a minority or not, adding a photo on your resume is only asking for issues. Discrimination is prevalent and equal opportunity employers are not always so equal. In fact, sometimes, employers are more drawn to a minority to keep a balance. There are many human resource departments that say they simply “overlook” resumes with photos to avoid any potential legal issues in the future.
- Too Much Employment – If you have had a job since you were still in high school, you don’t have to post every single one. Supply your most recent few years and any older jobs that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
- Physical Attributes – Unless you are a model, actor, actress or applying for some type of television personality position, you do not want to include measurements, weight, physical features, health, age or pregnancy status.
- Marital Status – It is nobody’s business what your sexual orientation is, or if you are married or have children. You may think some of this information will work for you in some positions, but it likely won’t, and it is unprofessional to include.
- Personal Information – Never include your social security number, birthday, driver’s license or credit score. Your address, phone number and professional email address is appropriate.
- Lies – Keep your resume factual. Lies always have a way of revealing themselves. Keep your resume professional.
Include the things employers need to know to make an educated decision regarding whether you are qualified for the job or not. You never want to include things that you think will benefit you such as country of origin or religious or political beliefs, because personal prejudices and differences could cause your resume to be rejected, even if you are the most qualified for the job.