When it comes to writing a résumé, what you leave out matters just as much as what you choose to highlight. Deleting the following can boost your chances of landing an interview and, hopefully, a job:
Goals and Objectives
The biggest challenge in writing a résumé is making the most of relatively limited space. Even for people at the beginning of their careers, it can prove difficult to condense accomplishments and experience down to an efficient number of bullet-points, while still including a list of your skills. Like the crew of an overloaded ship in a rough storm, you should always be looking for anything on your résumé that you can chuck overboard with relatively little complaint. A prime candidate: the goals and objectives section.
Why that section? It fits better as part of your cover letter. Your résumé is the place to list what you’ve done, not describe why you want a job, or what you’re doing with your professional life.
Images or Photos
Some tech pros like to liven their résumé up with graphics and images. They might insert their portrait beside their name and address at the top, for example, or create a cool design that runs along the left and right margins. While creativity is a desirable trait in any job candidate, HR staffers and recruiters tend to find such visual efforts distracting. Worse, something like a portrait takes up valuable space that could be reserved for worthier uses (i.e., more text).
Salary Ranges and Benefits
The time to talk salary is after your prospective company makes an offer; same with benefits. Despite that sage advice, some tech pros still list the salaries they earned at their previous positions, and sometimes even put their desired salary range at the top of their résumés; either of those actions places them at a disadvantage when it comes time to negotiate with a new employer.
Listing your skills on a résumé is vital. Listing what you like to do for fun, not quite so much. You’ll have lots of time in the actual job interview to explain your love of movies or Ultimate Frisbee; but when writing your résumé, focus on your hard skills and accomplishments.