A résumé serves as the first impression you make on a hiring manager, so it needs to be laser focused to include only what’s most relevant and most likely to help you get the job.
With the average amount of time a hiring manager spends looking at a résumé clocking in at less than 10 seconds, it’s important that in those few seconds they see information that makes them want to put your résumé in the interview pile. To improve your chances of that happening, remove these six things from your résumé.
Dates other than listing your work history.
Unfortunately age discrimination, whether intentional or unintentional, happens more often than it should. The only dates that belong on your résumé are the dates of your work history. Graduation year and dates from any other certifications or qualifications should also be left off. Your degree and any other qualifications are what matter, not when you got them.
Details that give away your age.
There are some subtle and not so subtle details that can give insight into your age.
Including your GPA, using your school email address, and embellished job descriptions for entry level positions (ie, managed customer expectations while expertly crafting espresso beverages as a description for a barista position) are indicators of a younger candidate. On the other hand, using a font like Times New Roman, having an AOL or Hotmail email address, and even something as subtle as double spacing after a period are indicators of an older candidate.
Large blocks of text.
You want to optimize your résumé to be both easily skimmed and read. Large blocks of text require more effort to read and are more likely to be skipped on a first glance. Use bullet points for easier readability and to ensure that the information you want to highlight actually gets read. The easier a résumé is to skim, the more likely it is that the hiring manager will take a thorough look.
Having a photo opens you up to potential discrimination. Whether that discrimination is intentional or unintentional, it’s still detrimental to your chances of being hired. Your appearance has no bearing on your ability to do the job, so therefore your photo has no place on your résumé.
Links to social media that aren’t relevant.
Your LinkedIn profile should always be included on your résumé, but choosing which other social media channels you list needs to be intentional. Remember, everything on your résumé needs to serve a purpose, so any social links you share need to showcase your professional abilities.
The social links you include will be highly dependent on the industry and specific job you’re applying for. Think of it this way – will sharing your social media do anything to improve your chances of getting hired? Does it serve as example of your work? If you answer yes to one or both of these questions, include it. If not, leave it off.
Listing your address gives the hiring manager another factor to consider that you don’t want them to – your location. Especially now with remote work being the norm, where you live is practically irrelevant. For example, if you live in California and apply for a position in New York, the hiring manager might not consider your application even though the position is remote due to the time difference. You’re fine working in a different time zone, but the hiring manager has no way of knowing that. To prevent this issue, leave your address off of your résumé.