An eye-tracking study by TheLadders found that the average recruiter spends only six seconds reviewing a resume before deciding if it’s worth a closer inspection. When you only have six seconds to make the right impression, you have to make every word on your resume count.
The real estate on your resume is precious, yet marketers often fill it up with useless or even detrimental information. When your first impression with a potential employer is that you can’t efficiently market yourself, it you don’t make a good representation of your marketing ability. Here are fifteen items you can remove from your resume right away that will help your job application avoid the marketing recruiter’s trash pile.
The easiest way to put a recruiter to sleep is to have them read about another “professional looking for opportunities that will allow me to leverage my skills.” If you’re going to lead with something as generic as this, you might as well put nothing at all. Avoid the run-of-the-mill objective statement and replace it with your elevator pitch. Briefly explain what you’re great at, your major professional accomplishments, and how you can provide unique marketing value.
There are almost no instances where a marketer needs to include a photo with their resume. It’s just an extra file or piece of paper that distracts hiring managers and recruiters from what really matters: your qualifications.
Additionally, a photo can clue unscrupulous employers into your nationality, age, religion and other factors that could inadvertently lead to discrimination. No need to give them any of those details until they’ve considered your application based solely on your qualifications.
And lets be honest, most photos aren’t all that flattering, especially if they’re not professionally done.
3. Inappropriate Email Addresses
That quirky or funny email address might be a cute choice for your personal correspondence with friends and family, but it’s not the best choice to represent your professional brand today. The same goes for shared family accounts and email addresses that are offensive, political or inappropriate in nature.
Do yourself a favor and sign up for a free address with a provider like Gmail that’s reserved exclusively for your job-search and networking activities. Create a professional account that’s as simple as possible, using things like your name and industry to personalize it.
4. Mailing Address
In an age where almost all initial recruitment and employment correspondence occurs over the phone or digitally, your street address is irrelevant. You’re not going to be receiving employment inquiries or invitations to interview via snail mail.
If you’re searching for a position in your current location and want employers to know you’re a local candidate, it’s fine include your city, state and even ZIP code. But there’s no reason to disclose your street and residence number on your resume, and doing so only puts you at risk for identity theft.
See more on avoiding identity theft while job searching
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5. Multiple Phone Numbers
Nobody likes playing phone tag or wondering which of several numbers from a list they should call. The more phone numbers you introduce into the mix, the easier it is to miss an important message from a prospective employer. Avoid this confusion by listing one phone number, preferably the number for your mobile phone. Most importantly, it needs to be a number where you have direct control over the voicemail and who picks up the phone.
6. Personal Details
There’s no need to include personal information like your social security number, marital status, nationality or spiritual beliefs. In fact, it is illegal for a prospective employer to ask for these personal details. We also recommend removing other unnecessary details about your life, like your family and home situation or favorite hobbies from the resume. Unless you’re incredibly new to the workforce or your activities are directly related to your target job, you’re merely wasting resume space that could be better used.
7. Personal Social Media Accounts
Not only is this information a waste of resume space, but including personal social media accounts that aren’t aligned with your professional brand can derail your job search. Remove these links from your resume and take steps to safeguard your brand.
The exception would be if you have an established profile related to your field, like a Twitter account where you post on marketing strategy or trending news.
Flesh out at least one professional profile on a professional network like LinkedIn, and include the link at the top of your resume if you have your profile well fleshed out. If you work in a creative field, consider creating a personal site or portfolio that has a mobile-responsive design so you can share your work from any device.
8. Contact Info That Goes Through Your Current Employer
Remember, this contact information will be used by recruiters to contact you. Do you really want them calling you at work or using an email address that can be monitored by your current employer? Your current boss probably won’t be excited to find out that you’re using company resources to look for another job.
Always list your personal email address and phone number on your resume and job applications. The same goes for any social media accounts associated with your professional brand.
9. Unusual Document Formatting
Don’t include embedded tables or images in your resume and avoid using the actual Header and Footer sections of the Word document. These commonly “break” between versions and document readers. They can also confuse the employer’s online applicant tracking system (ATS), and scramble your job application. Keep your resume format as simple as possible
10. Crazy Fonts and Colors
When choosing your resume font, stick to ones that are considered easy to read and won’t confuse the ATS systems: Arial, Calibri, Cambria, Tahoma, Book Antiqua or Franklin Gothic. If you’re applying to a creative marketing position, save the creative designs for your online portfolio. Marketing recruiters still need a version of your resume that can be easily uploaded, shared, parsed and stored in their online tracking system.
11. Pulpy Buzzwords
While it can be tempting to throw a few buzzwords such as “proactive” and “self-motivated” into a professional summary, recruiters know these terms are mere fluff and won’t be impressed when they see them. In fact, a survey by CareerBuilder found these words to be among hiring managers’ top resume turn-offs. Instead of telling employers that you’re a “value-add” or “best-of-breed,” use strong action verbs explain how you were able to improve a process, increase revenue or cut costs.
12. “I” and “me”
While there is some debate among recruiters and hiring managers about the need to add a more personal tone to resumes, the generally accepted practice is to refrain as much as possible from referring to yourself in the first person with pronouns. It’s unnecessary and repetitive.
Similarly, don’t use pronouns or your name to talk about yourself in the third person (i.e. “John is an accomplished digital advertising expert”; “He is seeking opportunities to …”). It’s your resume, after all, it’s not like readers are going to get confused as to who you’re talk about.
Instead, be concise when explaining your capabilities and accomplishments without constantly referring to yourself.
13. Previous Salaries
There’s no need to include salary information or hourly pay rates for roles you previously held. It’s not only unnecessary; it may send the wrong message to marketing recruiters and employers. Remember, your resume should showcase the value your professional experience and skills provide–not its cost to former employers. If an application asks for salary requirements, address these questions in your cover letter.
14. Your Distant Past
Marketing recruiters are most interested in your recent experience and how that ties back to their open position’s requirements.
If you’re an entry-level marketer, it’s time to remove references to your high school life. Instead, focus on highlighting your education, relevant internships and the leadership skills you’ve developed during college.
If you’re further along in your career, limit your resume to include the most recent 15 years or so of experience in reverse-chronological order and remove the dates from any degrees, certifications or awards that fall outside that 15-year window.
15. “References Available Upon Request”
Whether you’re new to the workforce or a seasoned professional, your resume real estate is precious. Don’t waste space by listing your references or including a note such as “References available upon request” at the bottom of your resume. It’s assumed that you’ll have professional references, and if we want to see them (and we probably will) we’ll ask for them further down the process when it’s more appropriate.
Article source: TheLadders
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