One part of my job that takes up a large bulk of the Recruitment Department’s time is screening resumes. We are a company whose largest and busiest department is recruitment, so there are always countless resumes to read through. I review resumes that are four pages long and I also review resumes that are half a page long. Many of the resumes that I read through are well done, while some look as though they were created in less than a minute.
In one of the blogs that I wrote a few weeks ago, “How to Write a Killer Resume”, I discussed a few things to consider when creating your resume. I mentioned to check spelling and ensure that certain points were covered, but what I didn’t mention was what NOT to include on your resume. Today I am going to discuss a few common mistakes that I have noticed people tend to make on their resumes since starting in my position over a year ago. Depending on the position that you are applying for, some of these may not apply, but for the sorts of positions that I review resumes for, they do!
- Do not include photos of yourself.
Putting anything on your resume that makes you look self-centred does not make for a very good first impression. Sure, if you’re an actress applying for a certain role or a model looking to be chosen for a shoot then maybe a photo would be appropriate. But when applying for a position in business or healthcare, do not include photos of any sort. An interview will take place and they can see who you are then.
- Do not include quotes.
I’ve seen people include quotes at the beginning or the end of their resume that they feel portray who they are, but it is, for lack of a better word, tacky. A resume is supposed to give a short synopsis of who you are as an employee; there’s no need for extras like photos and quotes.
- Leave out your ‘hobbies’ and irrelevant achievements.
Unless your hobbies include volunteering at an organization that’s similar to the one that you are applying to, possible future employers don’t need or want to know. Employers don’t need to know that you play volleyball every Sunday or that you like to go for bike rides with your family. They also don’t need to know that you won a pie eating contest back in 2009. They want to know if you would be the best candidate for the position, so only include information that will convince them of that.
- Do not use fancy fonts.
As I had mentioned, screening resumes takes up a large bulk of the Recruitment departments’ time. So when we receive a resume that is difficult to read due to their font choice, it can be very frustrating and time consuming. Use something simple like Arial or Times New Roman. Not only is it easier to read, it looks much more professional.
- Exclude irrelevant experience.
Irrelevant job experience is another piece of information that should never be included on your resume. It’s information that isn’t going to help you get the position and that should be your complete focus. You can take time to explain during your interview that you have experience in other sectors, it just wasn’t relevant to the position that you’ve applied for.
- Leave out personal information.
Employers do not need to know your weight, your age, your religion, your sexual orientation and whether or not you have children. In some cases it may sway the Recruiter to be more in favour of you as a candidate, but in most situations it is relevant and can be somewhat controversial.