Just take a look at the job posting and then at your résumé and ask: Does this information directly address the skills or experience the employer is looking for? If the answer is no, leave it off your résumé. When information is relevant, be sure to quantify it (rather than "increased sales," use "increased sales 30 percent in 12 months").
Seems simple enough, but plenty of people miss the mark and clutter their résumés with irrelevant, vague and generic details. We asked employers to share some of the most irrelevant information they have seen on applicants’ résumés. Check out their responses:
"An Amex Black Card Holder"
The information in your résumé should be relevant to the job you’re hoping to get. If the position is Consumer with Lots of Buying Power, the above information would be relevant. Turns out, however, that was not the case here.
-Via Emily Rickel, Medical Guardian
Except when it comes to spelling, apparently. This is an empty statement and adds nothing to your résumé.
-Rod Hughes, Kimball Communications
Unless you’re applying to be one of the Seven Dwarfs, there is no need to include your temperament on your résumé. Once you score an interview, though, feel free to let your sunny disposition shine through.
-Sherry Thomas, Palm Beach Etiquette
"Harmony, Belief, Realtor"
Two of these things don’t belong. Care to venture a guess? And while Realtor may be relevant, it would be even better to accompany it with specific details, like how much you have increased sales over the past year.
-Mike Ketcham, Weather Radios Direct
Good to hear! Then you should be able to grasp this concept right away: Use specific details that demonstrate your skills and accomplishments, rather than generic statements that 99 percent of the populace would use to describe themselves (not too many self-declared slow learners out there).
-Faruq Hunter, GeniusCorps
"Valedictorian in the 6th Grade"
Congrats! However, when including education information, start with college.
-Scott DiGiammarino, Reed Potential
"Shaken hands with Anderson Cooper"
Impressive! Maybe A.C. can hook you up with a job – because having shaken the hand of a minor celebrity wasn’t on the list of desired skills for this one.
-Meg Favreau, WiseBread.com
Luke Roney is editor for CareerBliss, an online career community dedicated to helping people find happiness in the workplace. Check out CareerBliss for millions of job listings, company reviews and salary information.