3 Things That Don’t Belong on Résumés

When it comes to representing yourself, less is more.

I have seen thousands of résumés in my years leading an executive search firm—from simple to detailed, organized to chaotic. As a hiring manager on a church staff, you are probably wondering where to start when sifting through stacks of résumés for your next staff member. Or maybe you are a job seeker, and you want to know how to make your résumé stand out from the pile.

Résumés are like the start of a baseball game: You can’t win a game in the first inning, but you sure can lose one. You can’t “win” a job with your résumé, but you definitely can put yourself out of the running. With that in mind, here are three things that should not go on a résumé:

1. Cute or Unnecessary Design

More is not better; more is just more. Simplicity wins. Unless you are a graphic designer looking to showcase specific skills for a role, keep your résumé clean, well-organized and straightforward.

2. Your Objective

Including an objective statement is becoming increasingly outdated. I am not concerned with what you want to do; I want to know what you have done. The best predictor of future performance is past performance.

3. Bad Links

Links are useful only as long as they work and the site you are linking to is helpful to the potential employer to see your related work. For example, graphic designers, writers and other creative professionals often include a link to their portfolio of work.

You also could include a link to your Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn profile, as most employers are going to look you up on social media anyway. Common sense would dictate that you make sure you do not have anything on your social media accounts that you do not want potential employers to see. You are probably not making a great first impression if your Facebook page is full of pictures of you at the club.

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Also, make sure that if you include any photos on your résumé that they are up to date and not a glamour shot from 10 years ago.

When it comes to getting your résumé noticed, more is not better. More is usually too much. Your best way to stand out from the crowd is not to make your résumé louder; your best bet is to cut out the extraneous noise and focus on your experience.

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