5 Fluff Items You Can Leave Off Your Resume

The average recruiter or hiring manager spends about seven seconds scanning your resume. Too many resumes are littered with fluff and irrelevant information, diluting the job seeker’s key message.

If you want a shot at the job, every section of your resume should be clear, concise, and thoughtfully constructed. A resume that is both informative and straight-to-the-point can make all of the difference in your job search. Here are five unnecessary “fluff” items to remove from your resume:

Nix the Headshot

While it’s commonplace to include a professional headshot on your LinkedIn profile, this practice is considered to be a big no-no in the resume-writing world. In fact, many hiring managers will automatically reject resumes with a headshot to avoid being accused of discrimination. Play it safe and leave the headshot off your resume.

Part Ways with Your Objective Statement

Your objective is to get a job. You know that, and the hiring manager does as well. That’s why you have a resume in the first place. Let go of overwritten objective statements and focus instead on other portions of your resume that highlight your experience and accomplishments.

Eliminate Buzzwords and Get to the Point

Motivated. Hard-working. Self-starter. All of these terms are considered filler words by recruiters and hiring managers. Don’t say you’re hardworking; instead, use your resume to clarify what you’ve accomplished because of your hard work. Rid your resume of these filler words and focus on demonstrating your qualifications. For instance, instead of describing yourself as “specialized” or an “expert,” list the results you’ve achieved in your field that qualify your expertise. Aim to show, not tell.

Relevant Job Experience Only

Employers are not interested in every job you’ve ever held. If you’re applying for an administrative position, would the employer care that you were a waitress in high school? Probably not. For each job you list on your resume, ask yourself if it is relevant to the position you currently seek. If they do nothing to support your overall message, exclude them. If you’re a recent graduate, most employers do not expect your resume to be more than one page. On the contrary, if you have had considerable professional experience, your resume can be a bit longer. Use your judgment.

Provide References Upon Request

When applying for a job, it is not necessary to provide references upfront on your resume. Instead, use that space to expand on your skills and accomplishments. If the recruiter wants to call and check out your references, they will request that information separately at a later time.

Need a little help polishing your resume? The professionals at Snelling can help give your resume the competitive boost it needs and help you find a job along the way. Contact your local Snelling office today to get started.