Writing a resume can be a time consuming and overwhelming process and it certainly doesn’t help when there’s so much ‘helpful’ yet conflicting advice bouncing around about how to make it look good. Trends and expectations change, so a resume that was once considered polished and top-notch ten years ago will now look outdated and at worse irrelevant in today’s job market. It’s not always obvious what elements of a resume can hinder your chances of being considered for a role, so to make it easier here are some of the most common, outdated elements we find in resumes that come across our desks at Gaulter Russell Numero:
1. Skip the photo.
Unfortunately unconscious bias does exist in the recruitment process globally and sometimes without even being aware of it people can make judgements about someone’s character and even ability in the split second it takes to glance at their photo. It can be particularly problematic if your photo looks unprofessional or unflattering. A photo is only ever helpful if you’re applying for a Brand Ambassador role with an agency where you’ll be hitting the streets promoting and giving away free products. Your skills and experience should always take centre stage on your CV!
2. Keep personal information limited...
To your name, email address, mobile phone number and your address. It’s unnecessary to include information about your family, gender, marital status and ethnicity, as none of these things influence your ability to do the job. If, however, you’re on a working visa or you have permanent residency (but your work history doesn’t clearly reflect this) then it’s worthwhile mentioning it.
3. Clear font and formatting are crucial.
Stick to Arial and Times New Roman when selecting your font as they look professional and are easy to read. While French Script and Comic Sans might look unique and cool, they definitely won’t endear you to the Recruiter or Employer. The font colour is also important when trying to read a resume, so use dark grey or black and keep your formatting simple and logical; it’s less likely to date and it makes it a lot easier for the Recruiter to get a sense of your work history and skill set – your resume shouldn’t resemble a maze!
4. Exclude your personal interests and hobbies.
Only list them if they relate directly to the role you are applying for and are likely to make your application more favourable. For example, if you’re applying for a role in a company selling sports equipment, mentioning that you play golf and tennis will reinforce to an Employer that you’re genuinely passionate and knowledgeable about the industry/product.
5. Keep it brief.
Three to four pages max should be more than sufficient; an eight page thesis with a title page that spans 20 years of employment is unnecessary and will most likely be overlooked – few Recruiters and Employers have the time or inclination to read that much, especially when they have dozens of other resumes to read. Bullet points are always a welcome sight!
Remember - a resume represents your personal brand in the job market and it’s one of the most important tools you have to convince potential Employers that it’s worth their time to interview you and ultimately hire you.
Written by Alisa Moore, Research & Community Manager at Gaulter Russell Numero.
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