Six Things to Cut from Your Resume (And Two You Should Add)

Most people spend hours tearing up resumes and sweating over each and every word until the ideal picture of themselves shines through, which, ironically, might only reflect the stylized version of yourself that society wants to see. This is all played out in a much more dramatic fashion for women, who remain a minority in the tech industry and as such are exposed to assumptions and negative stereotypes on a regular basis. 

So how do you do justice to your intelligence and ambition without accidentally objectifying yourself? Aside from removing that personal headshot, here are six things to absolutely cut before applying to your next job:

1. The Buzzwords 

Billowing, grandiose, and superlative language is all empty from the perspective of a recruiter or a hiring company. 

2. General Descriptions of Duties

Going fully objective may come across as too ice cold, too rudimentary. You want to write about how you innovated the position you held by finding unique ways to solve problems. If you need to be slightly creative in this regard then go for it – it’s better than listing rudimentary duties.

3. Basic Software (like Microsoft Office)

Why state the obvious when you only have 30 seconds to make an impression?

4. Don’t Use Paragraphs

The most frustrating thing for a recruiter or boss is having to read through sentence after sentence to get to the point. It shows you are not clearly focused as an individual and therefore not cut-out for the position. 

5. No Hobbies or Interests

Assuming it’s not your first job in the field, anyone with a little experience should have more valuable things to add than what they like to do on the weekends. If you want to keep the conversational tone flowing, putting a Skills section below your work experience is a better fit.

6. A One-Size Fits All Resume

A study from CareerBuilder found that most employers (61% to be exact) want to see a resume tailored to the specifics of the open position. Getting into specifics by showing how your skillset matches the particular responsibilities of the job will set you apart like nothing else.

What Helps My Cause?

Like every industry, the world of tech is all about skills. All kinds of skills. But how do you get them in there? 

  1. Divide and Conquer. The first thing you need to do is make a ‘Professional Skills’ section AND a ‘General Skills’ section (which emphasizes the soft skills like communication and diligence)
  2. Super-Short Objectives Statement. Focus on a one-sentence phrase that defines what you are looking for in the job. 

The Stakes Are High 

A dream job only comes around once in a blue moon, and you want your resume to be that deciding factor in calling you for an interview. We also know that being true to yourself as a woman in the tech industry means carefully avoiding stereotype potholes that give the wrong impression. Start making the right impression by taking these things off your resume and adding these two!

By Corey Hubbard

 Corey L. Hubbard
Corey L. Hubbard


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