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Cover image for Top 3 Things to Drop From Resumes - Discuss Additional!

Top 3 Things to Drop From Resumes - Discuss Additional!

adron profile image Adron Hall ・1 min read

As always, I'm helping people put together resumes and get re-employed during this whole pandemic induced depression we're barreling into. In light of that I've noticed a bunch of stuff on resumes that aren't really needed anymore.

The physical address is not really needed anymore these days. I've noticed it's often on the resumes still. No need, take it off, and I'd even argue it perpetuates several unneeded tropes and paradigms about geographic location.

The other thing, unless there is a specific reason, no need to put the physical location you existed in for various past jobs. The only thing that matters is if you'll be able to be in the geographic space required for jobs you're applying to.

Another, if you're past a solid decade of experience, it's rarely necessary in tech to keep listing every position for the last gazillion years.

Just the last ~5-10 years plus a note that you have more and can discuss if interested. That'll help prevent the 20+ page resumes.

Any others you can think of this day and age? Any advice I should add to my list of advice I provide as I review people's resumes that might be helpful?

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Adron Hall

@adron

A jovial coder, listening to some metal, enjoying the day.

Discussion

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Also don't forget: Resume Dos and Donts are...
(1) regionally/culturally specific
(2) sometimes rather subjective

So it would be wise for anyone giving advice on resumes to include what regional and cultural context they come from or cater to.

 

Thank you for the healthy reminder! I've edited my comment.

 

Ah, good point Sebastian! Thanks for adding this reminder. 👍🏻

I concur. But even then, it's not worth putting unless it's real close in that top tier of performance.

For myself I started leaving off school for a number of years and saw barely any negative effect. If anything I was asked about it. But I do suspect it removed me from needing to have any "do you have a 4-year BS degree" or such which was nice. Because it so often just simply doesn't matter at a certain point of experience.

 

Don't over design your resume.
Don't have a picture of you on your resume.
I don't think "personal summaries" are really worth putting on. I believe they'd better used on Linkedin.
Please don't include charts or skill levels in your skill or tech areas.

 

Having no picture on your resume is in Germany considered as highly unserious.

 

Yeah, I was recently informed of this. To Americans this seems like something that would only exacerbate discrimination, bias, and such.

But yeah, thanks for pointing this out. It's definitely something that needs to be taken into account if someone is considering work in Germany!

 

That's really good to know! I've always wondered why I see so many resumes online with pictures and now I'm curious if it's to accommodate people outside the U.S! I'll have to try and see if it's like that elsewhere as I've considered applying for jobs outside the U.S.

Yeah it's actually not that easy to find culturally-sensitive info regarding resumes and cv's. You really have to dig into the work culture on the country you target.

For Germany there is a nice resource for nearly every topic on working culture (note it's only in German): karrierebibel.de/

 

Your age.

This can be inferred anyway, by your list of jobs going back 45 years or your most recent bullet point being about your school project, but there's no need.

What school you attended. The only way this could benefit or harm you is if it has a particular reputation or your interviewer went there too, and that can come up in conversation if you want.

I'm a fan of keeping things clear, so if you say you did a degree in Computer Science in 2004, then that's the info that's important, not whether you got a bare pass or where it was.

 

Oh yeah, all good points. This was the root of reason for my comment above about "Just the last ~5-10 years plus a note that you have more and can discuss if interested..."

I wasn't being hyperbolic above about resumes that are 20+ pages. After ~2-3 pages I'm not going to read any of that stuff anyway. 🤪

 

I don't know that I agree about leaving off school. Some employers will want to check, and may also be on the lookout for known degree-mill scams, a la "Alameda University". I'm always a little wary of claims of degree with no school mentioned, the same as I would be if someone said "senior software engineer at a major company" and refused to say which one.

But definitely omit the age, and the GPA unless it's something really noteworthy like "4.0 GPA, Dean's List 2013-2016" or what have you.

 

I guess I'd leave the school in if it was your first job application or if you had less than a year or two's "industry" experience. After that, I don't think it should matter, and I've definitely seen people who discounted applicants for having earned their degree somewhere they didn't like.

 

DO: Include a brief blurb on what you've done with each of your top skills. If you either lack information for such a blurb, or feel it's not important enough to devote the space to, just leave it off.

DON'T: List anything you only have book knowledge of. Rather, only list those things you've actually done work with.

You can mention specific technologies in either your skills section (even in the blurb) or in a job experience blurb.

DON'T: Exceed two pages. (What's more, two pages is rarely even justifiable before you've had about a decade or more of experience!)

 

Interviewer for large company IT department based in the US.

Address for where candidates live has brought up the topic of commute and my companies lack of a work from home policy which may not have been mentioned otherwise, for what it's worth.
Also I wouldn't leave experience off but list it as bullet points with company, role, and dates. If you're jumping jobs so frequently that bullet points add another page to your resume, as an interviewer I'd want to discuss that. Why did you leave so frequently? If you were displeased, what were your struggles?

 

This is definitely one of those cultural things even in the US. For example, many in SF area, Seattle, Portland, and other areas assume that a competent and capable engineer will have multiple jobs and many projects on their resume. If not, why did they stay put at one position so long? Have they not learned new skills and are they not curious?

This has been a huge problem for some going between the big company like Microsoft and wanting to get into startups. Startups routinely skip out on long serving MS employees solely because of concern around them having learned - or not learned - and being adaptable to doing many things.

It boils down to how one needs to present themselves to one or the other related to what they'd want to do. If they want to work in a company and stay there for many years, they need to cater the resume specifically to them being stable and consistent at a singular job. If they want to work for startups that will require one to wear many hats they'd need to show how they can at whim tackle a wide range of jobs and projects.

This one I've fought with for years myself. It's an interesting battle! :)

 

Don't mix fonts, it looks like you have copy-pasted. Of course, never ever ever EVER copy paste. This is not only the road to the trashbin but can harm you sustainably.

 

Hahaa, yeah, if someone can't operate a word processor accordingly or take the time to provide a consistently formatted resume that seems to be a pretty universal bad sign! 😬

Maybe for graphic design for that "going rogue" design endeavor it'd work, but I can't think of anything else where it might work. 🤣