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5 Things That Land Your Resume in the Trash

Ahhh, the elusive resume. Many times the information we get in school when it comes to our resume is outdated. It’s time to brush the dust off your resume and revamp it to land your dream job.

You have only 6 seconds to grab a recruiter’s attention so what will absolutely get your resume passed over?

1. Objective.

Nobody cares. Your objective is probably to get the job you are applying to (or else why are you applying?) and hopefully advance in your industry, right? Great, and all the other applicants probably have the same objective.

What to do instead: Trying substituting “objective” for “summary” where you highlight key achievements or what makes you the best candidate for the job. Think of it like this, if someone only read your summary would they want to give you an interview? Why or why not?

2. References.

Today it is expected that you will provide references when an potential employer asks. Most job applications require you to put the three references on them. Do not waste coveted and valuable resume space listing out your references and their contact information, and do not add a line on your resume “references available upon request.”

What to do instead: Leave references off completely. Don’t even mention them on your resume.

3. Clichés.

“Team Player”? Great! So is everyone else in the stack. Focus on skills that are unique to you and the position you are applying to.

If you feel stuck about what unique skills you have, try the Department of Labor’s site, ONetOnline.Org for idea of what they may be seeking. Make sure you can speak to and provide examples for whatever skills list.

What to do instead: If you are a team player, it should probably be highlighted in a quantifiable way under one of your previous work experiences. For example, “Resolved conflict and communication issues amongst team of twelve people by streamlining memo process and helped project reach completion deadline.”

You have less than 6 seconds to stand out on paper. Leave these 5 things out to make sure your best information is shining through.

4. The old and irrelevant.

Employers and recruiters are trying to get a snapshot of what value you will bring to them, they are not interested in outdated information or irrelevant information.

What to do instead: Think hard about your past work experiences, at a quick glance they may seem irrelevant, but what transferrable skills do you have and how can you highlight them to show they are relevant and valuable? That’s the information you’ll want to include.

5. Your work e-mail or middle school e-mail.

[email protected]? Nope! If your email is not professional, then it’s time to make a new one. On the flip side, do not put your current employers e-mail. Recruiters or hiring managers do not want to contact you through your current employer for obvious reasons, and you shouldn’t want them to.

What to do instead: Create an email address that is just your name.

Many people write their resume focused on themselves (what they did, what they can do), rather than thinking about the employer and position at hand (what achievements do you have that would support their business? What value can you bring to them?).

Many times our biggest assets are the self-development work we are doing outside of regular office hours, so highlights those in the “summary” or “skills” section. Your application is what gets you in the door, your resume is what gets you an interview — make it count.

Rachel Ritlop is a Career and Business Coach to Gen Y. She empowers millennials to make more money and define their own path to success by landing their dream job or starting their own businesses. Rachel earned her Master’s Degree in Education with a dual focus in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and Mental Health Counseling and worked as a counselor prior to beginning her coaching business. Her life’s work today is to help as many millennials build and succeed in their dream careers.