Career Calling

January 29, 2011

White Noise in Your Resume

A client recently wanted to put her language skills and her sorority on her resume.  I recommended that we omit these details.  Why?  They have no relevance to the job she is seeking.  Most employers do not have the time or the interest to consider any information that is not relevant to the open position.  Everything else you put in your resume is white noise that distracts the reader and makes it less likely that you’ll be called in for an interview.

How can you keep white noise out of your resue?  Edit the document by asking this question:  Why (or how) is this detail relevant?  Keep the focus on what a potential employer would care about.  As I have written in other posts, some people will need to have two or more versions of their resume because they are pursuing different kinds of work.  Their challenge will be to pare out of each version those skills, experience, and achievements that do not fit the kind of job they are seeking.  Every job seeker needs to perform a careful, critical review.  What elements in your resume are not relevant?  Cut what is not needed, and you will make it easier for the employer to understand what you have to offer. Focus on what the employer needs to hear, not white noise.

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