Your resume should reflect who you are and where you want to go. This is your opportunity to truly express yourself in a professional, business setting. There are many things that are good to include in your resume, such as relevant references, the months you worked at a company, not just the years, professional titles, etc., but there are also some things that you should never include on your resume. Here are the top five:
Your age is the number one thing that you should never include on your resume. A future employer should spend his or her time looking at your resume to look for the qualities you can contribute to the role you are applying to. Unfortunately, ageism does occur from time to time and it is better to go in without including it in your resume. Show off those skills you have, NOT your age!
2. Photos, Headshots, the MONEY MAKER
Listen, I get that you might have a photo that makes you feel amazing, and you may look great, HOWEVER, unless you are Joey Tribbiani going in for your next “Days of Our Lives” audition, leave the headshot out. Adding a photo to your resume brings a sense of unprofessionalism. It also gives a future employer the opportunity to create and form opinions of you that are untrue. Under no circumstances is it okay to include a photo; that is what social media and your LinkedIn profiles are for.
3. Irrelevant Information and Unprofessional activities/skills
Living in the Pacific Northwest, we all have a ton of hobbies. Mountain climbing, running into the sunset with your dog, underwater basket weaving, etc. Those all are really fun and exciting, however, if you are applying to a position to be a Staff Account for a multi-million-dollar company, they probably want to know a little more about your professional skills than your hobbies. You want to make sure you include information that is going to benefit the person reading your resume. In addition to this, you do not need to include every job you have ever had. If you were a waterboy for the Cleveland Browns twenty years ago, you do not need to include that in your resume, because 1.) As a Staff Accountant you won’t be interviewing to fetch water, and 2.) You just don’t want to be associated with the Cleveland Browns! Lastly, you do not need to include your whole address on your resume. Give a geographical location, but your future employer doesn’t need your full address, your social security card, or a blood sample in order to consider you for a position. Include only the skills and information that will give you a stronger opportunity to get the job you are applying for!
4. Inconsistent Fonts and formatting
Formatting your resume should be fun, and represent you, but you do not want to step back and look at your resume and have it look like a ransom note. A good rule of thumb is pick one font, something that is clear and easy to read (I.e. Arial, Century Gothic, Times New Roman, etc…) and then stick to it! I know you might feel inclined to do one font for your titles and then a different font for the rest, but don’t! Instead, make your titles and name bold. A recommended font size is 11/12 for the bulk of your resume, and 13/14 for the titles. If you keep to a simple formatting protocol throughout your resume, it will make it easier to update in the future!
5. Inappropriate or Unprofessional Social Media
Let me paint a picture for you: you apply for your dream job, and they are interested in bringing you in for an interview. The hiring manager sees your twitter handle (@funluvingkat007) and they think “What a weird twitter handle, but let’s give them a chance anyways”. Then they open up your twitter and see you tagged in photos from your best friend’s bachelorette party…OOPS! These are situations that you can easily avoid! You have two options when it comes to your social media. Option one is to completely avoid adding social media handles to your resume. Overall, things like your personal Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are things that you should not add; these are for family and friends to use, not the CEO of your dream company. Option two is to create professional accounts on social media platforms. For example, I would highly recommend creating a LinkedIn profile and checking it regularly. It is very important to keep this up to date as more and more employers are utilizing LinkedIn to “professionally stalk” future employees. If you do want to add in a Twitter handle or other social media sites, make sure that they are highlighting the types of jobs that you are applying for. Keep things fun, show off your personality, but keep it professional!
So, there you have it. You can have fun on your resume and personalize it to match your style and creative side, but you need to make sure that you are approaching your resume with a sense of professionalism as well! Here at Motus Recruiting and Staffing, we have a team of professional, highly talented recruiters who are ready to help you accomplish your resume goals! Give us a call!