10 items to scrub from your resumé and LinkedIn profile

Cut the fluff that annoys recruiters. Start by deleting secondary skills, high school jobs, irrelevant hobbies and large chunks of text.

If you’re looking for a new gig, a resumé and a LinkedIn profile are two of your most important assets.

How you highlight the skills you bring to the table can make or break your job search. It’s often the deciding factor between landing an interview or being passed over, so it’s crucial to spruce up your job-seeking content package.

There’s an art to presenting yourself in a compelling, professional manner. It’s a balancing act between saying too much and too little. You must find the sweet spot between effectively touting your accomplishments and excessively tooting your own horn.

Here are 10 things you can eliminate from your resumé and LinkedIn profile:

1. Secondary skills. Omit the skills you’d rather not be responsible for at your next job. Focus on the things you love, the things you’re good at and the things you want to keep doing.

2. Silly email addresses. If you’re still using a goofy email handle from your college days, create a new account. Keep in mind that some recruiters make assumptions based on your email provider. For instance, many look down on Hotmail and other providers that are viewed as outdated. Play it safe with a Gmail account or an address with your own domain—and use a straightforward name. Coffee_samurai69@hotmail.com is not getting a callback.

3. High school jobs. Unless you’ve just graduated from college and these are the only jobs you can list, it’s better to omit your stint as a slide monitor at the water park.

4. Hobbies and leisure activities. There are some cases in which your hobbies belong on your resumé —specifically, if they dovetail with the job you’re applying for—but it’s usually best to leave them off. Believe it or not, hiring managers don’t care that you love to play golf or collect vinyl records. They care about the value you can bring to their organization.

5. Antiquated technology. There’s no need to specify that you know how to use email, Microsoft Word or different web browsers. Remove references to obsolete technology and techniques.

6. Your home phone number. Just include your cell number; make it clear to employers that you can always be reached.

7. Chunks of text. Your job descriptions should be easy to read and simple to skim. Always use bullet points. No recruiter wants to wade through big blocks of text.

8. Salary figures. If you sell yourself short—or position yourself as unattainable—you’re undermining your prospects. Try to find a reasonable middle ground from which you can negotiate.

9. Generic job titles. Make sure your job titles give a clear indication of what you did in that role. Just saying “Manager” isn’t very descriptive.

10. Duties. This one might surprise you. To be clear, your resumé and LinkedIn profile should provide some insight into what you’ve done at your different jobs. The point is to focus more on achievements instead of a laundry list of responsibilities.

A version of this post first appeared on the Grammar Chic blog.


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