As a career coach, I’ve come across so many poorly formatted resumes. It’s unreal.
I don’t say that to poke fun at people. I say that to point out a big problem.
There are some conventional ideas that millions of employees have adopted as it pertains to the proper formatting of a resume’ that are just absolutely ludicrous.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is their mindset. They seem to be unaware that before a resume is ever seen or read by a human being it goes through an A.T.S., which stands for Applicant Tracking System. Every online job posting board uses an A.T.S. to categorize, file, and present the most qualified job applicants to prospective employers.
By adding a bunch of unnecessary information to your resume and leaving off the stuff that matters, you’ve lost the game before it ever began.
1. Your College Degree:
We get it. You graduated from college Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA in blah, blah, blah. Here’s the problem, an employer doesn’t care. They’ll give you a raised eyebrow and a job well-done, but on a 100-point scale, your college degree will earn you 25 points at best. The remaining 75 points is based on your work experience.
The one exception to the rule is if you are extraordinarily genius, gifted, and talented and the company you want to work for requires educational prowess. A good example of this is Google. I’ve worked with several colleagues who’ve worked at major tech firms, including Google, who have said that unless you have a Harvard degree, they won’t even consider you.
The thing to keep in mind is that 98% of people are not extraordinarily genius, gifted, and talented, including me. I don’t have a Harvard degree on my wall and, chances are, you don’t either. So, don’t over-index on your college degree, because your employer won’t.
When you over-index on your college degree, it gives off a vibe to employers that you think that you can buy your way into a job because you paid for a high-dollar degree and know how to read books and take tests well, all of which is non-applicable to a job.
Remove the excess clutter. Simply stating your college name and field of study is all that is necessary.
2. Your Objectives:
Remove this paragraph entirely. In most cases, employees fill this paragraph in with five sentences of fluff, which comes off as delusions of grandeur. No one cares or believes that you’re going to “change the way marketing is done” or that you will “lead a new trend in mobile media.” You’re not Steve Jobs. Do not turn your resume into a self-obsessed keynote speech.
3. Your Interests:
This is a big no-no. Your potential future boss doesn’t care that you like cats or that you enjoy reading a good book at the local coffee shop. They also don’t care about your long romantic walks on the beach with your husband.
Leave off any personal topics and interests off your resume. It shows that you’re overly-emotional and confused about the boundaries of professionalism.
About the author
Michael Price is the author of What Next? The Millennial’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the Real World, endorsed by Barbara Corcoran of ABC’s Shark Tank. He is also the founder of Conquer Career Course, where he teaches students how to increase their salary, build a career with longevity and become unemployment-proof. View the trailer below:
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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