Every opening in today’s tight job market is met with a rush of talented candidates who are current on today’s required skill sets. Since hundreds of people apply for every open position, it’s imperative that every aspect of your job search strategy is up-to-date, including your resume. Resumes should not only be up-to-date, but they should succinctly tell your story. Here are some things to avoid when crafting your resume:
1. Objective Statements: In the past, most applicants included objective statements on their resume. In this day in age, those statements are considered redundant. Every line on your resume needs to have a strategic intent. It’s a waste of space to say, “I am interested in an accounting position at XYZ organization.” The recruiter is going to inherently know that you want to work for their company because they already have your materials. The simple fact you applied for the job, infers you are interested in it.
2. Salary Requirements: Unless a job specifically asks for your salary requirement you should never include it in your document. You don’t want to A.) Leave money on the table or B.) Ask for too much money and be screened out from an interview. If the job opening requests your salary expectations, the cover letter is the best place to discuss that.
3. Non-traditional fonts or pictures: Unless you are applying for a graphic design or marketing position, you should not include any crazy fonts. It’s is also not necessary to include a picture on the resume. Every inch of space counts on your resume and crazy fonts and pictures waste valuable real estate. The other issue with creative fonts is that most applicant tracking systems will automatically kick you out from consideration if the resume doesn’t use Arial or Times New Roman fonts. If someone is that interested in finding out what you look like, they can visit your LinkedIn profile.
4. Outdated skills or positions: It used to be the best practice to include all software packages and skill sets that you have developed over the years. Technology moves so fast that the software packages you were using 15 years ago are most likely antiquated at this point. It is great that you use to be a whiz at the fax machine or Betamax, but those times are long gone. It is important to focus your resume on skills and tools that are current. Going back any more than 10 to 15 years for software packages or skill sets is not necessary.