It’s essential to keep your resume updated even if you have no intention of looking for a job right now. It can help you get a raise, clarify your goals and help you score the next available promotion. Plus, you don’t want to use an outdated format.
You’ll also need to keep it brief and orderly. It’s best to stick with a single page; however, this can be tricky. It’s especially tough to decide what matters and what employers simply won’t care about.
Old jobs, unnecessary skills, and lackluster training can bog your resume down, making it challenging for companies to find the facts they really want to see. Get rid of these five chaotic, cluttered entries right now for better results.
#1 It Was Too Long Ago
The rule of thumb for resumes is 10 to 20 years of work history. Jobs before that time becomes less relevant, and frankly, virtually unprovable. Good luck getting a reference from the fast food joint that no longer exists in your hometown!
If you’re not sure whether to include something, ask yourself whether it really matters. You don’t need to include your part-time job in high school if high school is now ancient history. Cut the fat and remove anything but three to five most recent jobs to really sell yourself.
#2 It Isn’t Relevant to the Job
The summer you served up ice cream to tourists won’t be relevant when you’re applying for a position in accounting. Consider that when you trim and dress your resume. Make sure the listed work history directly applies to the position you’re trying to obtain.
#3 It Didn’t End Well
It’s pretty safe to say that you might want to edit the history of any jobs that didn’t end well unless you don’t mind employers calling them for more information. Listing that you lost a position, for any reason, probably won’t make you look like the best candidate, either, nor will jobs where you quit in a youthful blaze of glory.
Think carefully about which positions you include. Then, edit your resume to show the positions you held where former employers spoke highly of you. Avoid anything that highlights the way you burned bridges when you left.
#4 It Makes You Look Over-Qualified
Is there really such a thing as too much experience? As many employers will tell you, the answer is absolutely YES. They don’t want someone so qualified that they’ll become unfulfilled and leave. They want employees they’re likely to retain, particularly after they pay for the cost of training.
Trim the work experience that makes you look so over-qualified that you’ll never even land an interview. Or, prime your resume with positions and experience that better align for the job you need, rather than the one you want.
#5 It Makes You Look Unstable
Too many jobs on a resume will make it seem like you hop from one position to another as easily as catching a bus. It looks flighty and unreliable. Consider removing excess positions, so it doesn’t appear as though you’re constantly trading up for the next best thing.
This approach is especially important if you work more than one job at a time. A single page gets crowded fast when you serve in multiple roles.
You want your resume to make you look like the best possible candidate. Employers only have a few minutes to review your qualifications and get a sense of who you are as a person. If you don’t look good on paper, they likely won’t be interested in finding out how you get to know you in person. A good spring cleaning will help you excel.