Job hunters, you have only 5 seconds to impress a hiring manager. That’s how long a new study says recruiters spend scanning your résumé before deciding whether or not to interview you. And career experts say a lot of star candidates never even make it to the interviewing stage, because their résumés are filled with clutter. So, here are the top things to cut from your résumé, to boost your odds of getting an interview:

  • Cut your “objective.” Because simply getting the job you’re applying for should be your objective. Instead, use the first couple of lines in your résumé as a “Summary of Skills” section. In other words, use it as your opportunity to brag! List your relevant skills and experience and say how it makes you the perfect fit for the job.
  • Get rid of random awards, accomplishments, hobbies or interests. Experts say a lot of job seekers list a couple of unique facts about themselves to stand out, and seem more personable. But hiring managers only want to see what directly relates to the job you’re applying for! If they want to see your personality, they’ll find your Facebook page and scroll through it.
  • Also cut anything written in paragraphs. Replace them with bullet points, which makes your resume easier to read. And skip anything in italics, underlined, or bolded. The only thing that should be bold is your previous job titles and employers. Format-wise, your resume should look clean and streamlined.
  • Cut the list of all your job duties or tasks. It takes too long to read! Instead, list your accomplishments, like the fact that you shrunk the office supply budget by 20% or saved the company $3,000 a year in travel expenses.

What you leave off of your resume can be just as important as what you include, so make sure that precious real estate is taken up with relevant, well-stated, interesting information.

Lesson Expert

Meredith McKenna