Elizabeth Lowman, writing for Forbes, has a great list of five things you should cut entirely from your résumé, including your “objective” and junk terms like “experienced” and “team player” (you’ll have to click through for the full list).
I sliced all that junk out of my résumé a long time ago and it’s served me very, very well. The people who screen job applications are probably twice as slammed these days as they were five years ago, meaning résumés are probably going to be glanced over and chucked into piles. The more information you have packed onto yours, the less likely it is that something special will stand out and land you in the “call back” pile.
On top of Elizabeth’s suggestions, here are some from me (which have worked):
- Use a font big enough to read from three feet away. Once you start trying to cram stuff onto a page in 10-point font, you’re forcing too much onto the page.
- Don’t worry about what a résumé should look like. If yours looks like everyone else’s, you’ve given away another opportunity to stand out.
- Put your relevant skills on the front page. My résumé lists my skills in 14-point font and rates them (honestly) on a five-star scale. Anyone looking to hire me only has to look at that to know if they want to keep reading or not.
- Leave some stuff out to keep them wanting more. If you’ve got a few years experience, you don’t need to list everything on multiple pages. Leave things out but allude to them and let your prospective employers ask about it later in an interview.