Yes, there really is such a thing as too much information!
Especially on your resume.
It’s tempting to want to tell a prospective employer as much as possible about yourself in an effort to stand out. Maybe you’d seem more interesting with a mention of your political activism? Or if you include a picture with your kids?
Don’t do it.
It won’t help and it actually may hurt your chances for an interview because…
Information of a personal nature on your resume has nothing to do with your ability to do the job.
The hiring manger will get to know you a little better once you have an interview.
And that’s the key.
You need your resume to get you to that interview.
By eliminating personal information you remove any opportunity for the reader to become distracted or form an opinion on anything other your work experience and achievements.
Stick to your career story and let them see you are right for the job.
It’s also worth noting that some employers will immediately discard a resume that contains certain personal details or a photo to avoid possible concerns that you were either hired or rejected based on this information. You don’t want your resume to land in the trash before it’s even read!
And speaking of trash. You don’t know how your resume will be shared or discarded so it’s best to keep it free of sensitive information.
If you have included or referenced any of the following in your current resume, remove this information before you send out another copy:
- Date of birth – There is no reason to reference either your age or your birth date on your resume. Let your experience do the talking and not how young or old you are.
- Photo – While some people believe a photo on your resume makes it more personal, it’s best left off. (Exception would be actress or model where headshots may be required.) What if the reader thinks you look too young (or old) or thinks you are too serious because you aren’t smiling or too formal because you are wearing a tie…you get the idea. Let your credentials be the star and they will get you in the door. If that happens they have already determined you are a worthy candidate and whether or not they like your picture won’t matter. If they are serious about you as a candidate they will likely check out Linkedin and will see your picture there…that’s a good thing. It means your resume worked!
- Street address – There is no need to include your home address on your resume. Stick to your city or town. Once again it’s about removing any opportunity for judgment i.e. they think you live too far away and wonder if you will be able to make the early morning meetings.
- Home phone – Keep it simple and include only your cell phone number. You don’t want the employer to wonder which number to use when it comes time to call you for an interview.
- Gender – No need to reference your gender.
- Marital status – Don’t make reference to your marital status, family or children. Once again this has nothing to do with your ability to do the job. Keep it all about you as a professional.
- Religious beliefs – There are times when this might be relevant to the job but generally any reference to your religious beliefs is unnecessary and best left off.
- Salary information – The time to discuss salary will come. Don’t indicate your current or salary history on your resume. This avoids any impact on an offer for the current position or to be passed over if they think you will expect too much. There are some employers who insist on knowing your expected salary range to be considered for the job. If this is the case and you feel it absolutely necessary, you can include a range in your cover letter. But never discuss specifically how much you are being paid.
- Ethnicity – No need to reference ethnicity unless for some reason it relates directly to the job. An example of this in the world of events might be for someone to produce or program a cultural or ethnic festival where the unique knowledge and specific understanding would be helpful.
- Social insurance number – Don’t ever note your social insurance number. (Not sure why anyone ever would but it happens.) This is information you definitely wouldn’t want floating around if your resume was not properly discarded or shared.
- Sexual orientation – This has no relevance to your ability to do the job so do not include.
- Political affiliation – Unless there is a connection to the job (i.e. working for a political party) and you felt it was of benefit to mention, there is no reason to note your political views.
Every bit of real estate on your resume should be devoted to positioning you as the ideal candidate for the job.
Not only is your personal information just that. Personal. But it can take up valuable space better used to outline your qualifications.
Make every line count to highlight your experience and abilities.
Delete from your resume any information not related to your ability to do the job. Ensure the reader is not distracted and remains focused on you as a candidate.
A candidate they want to interview!
Post by Margaret Johnston, eventswork.com
As a career event professional, Margaret brings valuable insight and knowledge to the recruitment, management and development of high-performance teams for the event industry. A strategic and inspiring leader, Margaret has held executive roles for several global event management companies and key roles in the start up and orchestration of many high profile and international events.
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