Your resume is the first thing a potential employer sees, so standing out is crucial. However, for many collegietes, overcompensating for lack of work or school experience by filling up a resume with meaningless credentials can lead to a dead-end road for the job hunt. Therefore, taking the extra time to craft and critique what is valuable and what is not valuable on your resume will truly set you apart, and might even land you your dream job. Here are five things that should no longer be on your resume.
1. High school experiences
It can be easy to fill up your resume with extracurricular activities from high school, but if you’re applying for a job in journalism, your future employer will not care if you played JV golf when you were 17. Instead, focus on relevant activities from college, which for some may include coursework.
Lindsey Allen, a junior at University of New Haven, notes, “When I applied for a journalism job, I used the space on my resume to put all of the journalism and communications classes that I took. I feel like employers are more impressed with that, than if I wrote down that I was a contributing writer for my high school newspaper my sophomore year.” Use this space to showcase particular classes you excelled in, this will give future employers a better idea of who you are and your areas of interest.
Courtney Pearson, the Career Development Specialist for the College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, says,“My response would depend on the student and whether they were involved during college. For a student who had at least one internship, had a part-time job, was involved in student organizations, did community services/volunteer work, I would say there would no need and most likely no space in a one page resume to include coursework taken during college. For a student who wasn’t as involved in college, I would recommend to the student to include relevant coursework/courses taken and to include a skills section to highlight their knowledge of different software platforms, social media, theories, etc.”
2. Personal information
While this may seem like a no-brainer, including personal information that does not pertain to the job you are applying for, like your gender, marital status and religion, can be too much for an employer. The resume is the first phase of the hiring process, therefore, including your name, address and the best way to contact you, is as much information as one should give. Don’t get too personal, too soon.
Pearson adds, “For every student I work with, regardless of major, I suggest they include their contact information and any social media links or a link to their professional portfolio or LinkedIn. I of course stress to only include social media links, if their accounts are professional and updated. The same goes for their LinkedIn accounts and portfolio. Employers will Google you as a candidate anyway, but it looks better for the student, if they supply their social media links, willingly. I also discourage students from including anything more personal than what I mentioned above. Personal information like hobbies listed on a resume is unnecessary information for employers. Anything personal beyond contact information could come out in an interview or maybe be touched on in the cover letter, so long as it’s relevant to the position.”
3. Objective statement
You may be eager to fill up your resume, but decide if writing an objective statement is what is best for the position you’re applying for. Your resume should list your credentials and outline your work experience, while your cover letter is where you can explain in greater detail your objectives, goal, hopes and why you want the position. Amanda Goecke, a junior at Carthage College, recommends, “Double check with your school’s career services to decide whether or not an objective statement is necessary on your resume. I think it just comes down to what will work best for you.” Ultimately, it is your decision, but if you’re unsure, seek out advice from a professional.
4. A second page
We all know the overused phrase, “Less is more,” but it certainly applies to your resume. Keeping your work experience, contact information and credentials concise is crucial. Employers scan several if not countless resumes for a single position, therefore keeping everything to one page will keep their attention and not overwhelm them. Chelsea Jackson, a junior at Iowa State University, says, “Likewise, any experience that is irrelevant to the job you are applying to should be omitted from your resume.” Therefore, crafting your resume for the specific job you are applying for, will aid you in keeping to a one page limit and show your potential employer all your qualifications.
This is a major faux pas, and a mistake that might have your resume in the trash before it makes it way to the second round. Your resume represents your best self, and misspelled words or a missed comma, poorly reflects your attention to detail and accuracy. Pass your resume around to friends, family members and professors and let them edit it for you. Use this as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes, and fine tune your editing skills
Above all else, remember your resume is a reflection of yourself, so craft it in a way that best represents you. Good luck, collegietes!