The 9 Worst Items to Put on Your Resume

Resume

World of Warcraft — on a resume.

I know it sounds dumb, but what if I told you the geeky info helped someone land two big jobs?

CNNMoney reports Stephen Gillett, the chief operating officer at Symantec, an online security firm, has touted his WoW credentials to become an executive at Starbucks and Symantec.

Gillett: “Some people look at it and say, ‘What the hell is this?’ And others will be like, ‘That’s exactly what I’m looking for.’”

Bingo. Gillett knew Starbucks and Symantec wanted a person with serious computer skills. So he tailored his resume to reflect that qualification. (Even though he probably sounds like Randy Marsh on “South Park”.)

How do make your own resume “exactly” what an employer needs? Understand the audience inside and out. For instructions, read: Why No One Wants to Hire You

As you adjust your resume, also make sure to cut these nine items. They are unnecessary and won’t help a bit.

1. Anything from high school

You’re an adult in the real world — yeah, this real world. After college, nothing from high school counts anymore.

If you’re a recent grad and need to lean on college credentials, select the best stuff and not every single club you joined.

Treasurer of your freshman dorm? Wow! When can you start!?

2. Bullet points 5-10

The difference between you and a job is the ability to quickly explain yourself.

  • People don’t have time to read about everything you did
  • You need to decide what matters and what needs to go
  • If you ONLY had four bullets, what would they be?
  • Because after four points, the reader wanders off and…

Hey! Come back here. Not done yet.

3. A list of your college classes

What matters more: a course you took on business management or the “company” you created through a class project?

Employers don’t care you took Supply Chain Management 357. They do care about the skills you gained from it.

Again, if you must rely on college, spare the course titles and focus on the experience.

4. Vague descriptions

“Maintained a large database and assisted with organization’s fundraising efforts.”

That’s the worst way to put it. Where are the specifics? The sizzle?

“Maintained a database of 42,000 donors and helped the organization raise $11.4 million during the 2013 capital campaign.”

See? Details make all the difference.

5. Page three

two-page resume from a 20-something is highly questionable. That means three is completely out of the question.

Give employers a tight, shrewdly worded one-pager. Don’t make it longer to “impress” them. It won’t.

Less is always more.

6. The words “such as” and “utilize”

Such as” and “utilize” scream I want to come off smart in the worst way please hire me k thanks bye.

Exchange “such as” for “like” and “utilize” with “use.”

Oh, and don’t utilize use “amazing.” It’s overdone.

7. Microsoft Word

Yes, of course you know how to use Word. So does your grandmother. You can leave this “skill” off the list.

8. The phrase “responsible for”

How many times does it appear in your resume?  “Responsible for” is flat and uninteresting; go with words like “oversee” and “managed.” Those demonstrate leadership.

9. Selfish mission statement

“I am an energetic marketing professional who enjoys social media management and developing branding strategies.”

Stop thinking of what you like to do. You don’t matter here.

Start thinking of what the company needs.

“I am an energetic marketing professional who wants an opportunity to help your company build its brand and grow business.”

The difference in tone is striking.

What other parts of a resume need to go? Share below!

(This content was originally posted at News to Live By.)

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Author:

Danny Rubin

Danny Rubin is a media strategist and the managing editor of News To Live By™, a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice and leadership lessons "hidden" in the day's top stories. A former TV reporter, he's always looking for ways to apply the news to our own lives. Follow him at @NewsToLiveBy.

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