With the spookiness of Halloween around the corner, we thought we would address some “dead” items that are still frequently included on resumes, but should be removed—particularly by those looking to shorten the length.
For starters, placing “Objective” at the top of your resume is not only a thing of the past, but a waste of valuable real estate. Your objective is to be considered for a particular opportunity. A better way to start a resume is to have a summary of skills and qualifications. This summary can be a succinct statement, a detailed but brief paragraph or a bullet list of items that are relevant to the position for which you are applying.
Personal interest or hobbies should not be included on a resume. The resume should address your professional skills and experience, not your personal life and interests. A better replacement is to show off your “soft skills” or valuable personality traits by creating a section of core competencies, to share professional characteristics you could bring to the job. For example, you run a successful personal blog in WordPress or sit on the board of a non-profit, especially if it’s well-known or related to your profession.
Finally, “references available upon request” should never be included. If references are required, they will be requested by the employer. A better strategy is to bring a separate sheet of references to your interview to present to the employer.
Removing these “dead” and outdated items will free up space for more valuable, useful information—and hopefully scare up some new job opportunities.