How to Trim the Fat on Your Resume: 5 Common Inclusions You Can Cut

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How to Trim the Fat on Your Resume: 5 Common Inclusions You Can Cut

This is a guest post from Lee Anna Carrillo, a community manager at Resumoo. A resume writing service, and career resource database.

The number of job seekers in the world has grown dramatically in the past few months. If you’re one of them, you should know that the resume format preferred by employers has changed significantly over the years.

Nowadays, knowing what to leave out of your resume is just as crucial as knowing what to include. Some traditional resume inclusions have become redundant or altogether unappealing for those who need to read them. Leaving them out could make or break your success when it comes to applying for your next professional position.

Here are 5 common resume inclusions that your curriculum vitae no longer needs to impress prospective employers.

5 Things to edit from your resume

1: Your Photograph

Unless you live and work outside of the USA, you generally don’t need to add a photograph of yourself to your resume. This may seem counter-intuitive, as most job seekers think that prospective employers would want to know what they look like. If this is the case, they can easily view your photos on your LinkedIn profile or your social media pages. Just ensure that the pictures you do have on these platforms are of good quality and look professional!

There are a few exceptions to this rule that you should be aware of. If you work in a ‘visual career’ such as design, marketing or illustration, you might have a graphically designed resume that includes photographs of yourself. If you do a lot of public speaking, training or consulting work and wish to include a picture, you can add it to a one-page professional bio that you’ll submit alongside your original resume.

2: Your Objectives

Writing experts believe that profiles have just about replaced the objectives section in modern resumes. This section once informed readers about what the job seeker wanted out of their position.

An example would be someone who’s “Seeking a position with a progressive company who will utilize [their] talents as a public relations expert.”

Today, companies are instead seeking information about who you are, and what you can bring to their corporate table. Profiles are now written around your personal brand and value proposition to show off your professional expertise. They also include a couple of bulleted statements listing your major accomplishments. This will assist employers in determining if you’re the right fit for a given position.

3: The High School You Attended

It’s no longer necessary to mention your grade school in your CV. Most professionals have far more to show in terms of their education by way of university degrees, doctorates, masters, diplomas, and ongoing development certifications. Listing your high school, even if it was a prestigious institution, is redundant in most employers’ eyes.

4: The Salary You Are Aiming For

Most job candidates will ask about salaries at some point during their interviews. It’s natural to want to know about the remuneration you’ll receive for a position, and your employers should always be forthcoming with this information when it’s requested.

However, if you include the kind of salary you wish to receive in your resume, you might be screened out by recruiters and hiring managers, rather than being considered for a job. If your requested salary is at odds with what the company had in mind, they may deem you too expensive, or not experienced enough for the position.

If you include a salary on your resume, it compromises your ability to negotiate better wages later in the interviewing process.

5: ‘References Available on Request’

Older resume formats always included this phrase, but nowadays, it’s no longer necessary. In fact, there’s actually an unwritten rule among employers that if you’re a strong candidate for a position, you’ll provide references without being prompted.

The statement ‘references available on request’ is very dated, and using it may make your CV seem outdated or stuffy as a result. It also takes up valuable space on your resume that you could fill with information about your skills, expertise and accomplishments.

In most cases, if an employer is interested in checking on your references, they’ll ask for them. Ensure that you have at least two or three contactable references who will provide positive reviews of your past duties and roles.

Additional Tips for Trimming Your Resume

Your resume is a reflection of your personal and professional capabilities. It should be as perfect as possible if you wish to impress the companies and individuals you submit it to.

Here are a few additional tips for creating a streamlined and professional CV.

Check for and remove spelling errors and grammatical mistakes

Spell check and proofread your resume thoroughly before submitting it; typos and spelling errors can look very unprofessional! If you need assistance, hire an editor or resume writer to assist you.

Nix unnecessary information

Your CV should only span one or two pages, unless you are applying for a specific position that requires more detail. Remove redundant details and instead focus on highlights wherever you can.

Use formatting techniques like short paragraphs and bullet points

This makes your resume brief, concise, and easy for prospective employers to read and understand. Long and cluttered submissions will usually be screened out immediately, as most employers simply don’t have the time to read them.

Leave out your personal data

You don’t need to add any personal details other than your name and contact information. Remove or omit mentions of your social security number or identification number, age, date of birth, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliations, or the names and ages of your spouse and children. It’s unlawful for employers to make decisions based on this information.

Cut unrelated skills, hobbies and work experience

The purpose of your resume is to inform employers of whether or not you can effectively fill the position they are offering. Any information you offer that does not pertain to this role is unnecessary.

By cutting the clutter, you’ll become a far more attractive candidate to recruiters and potential employers. These tips are designed to help streamline your resume and make you stand out above other applicants seeking the same position.


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