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Candidate Resource Center

Clean Up Your (Resume) Act

Is your resume the hottest new thing...for 1992?

Here, we cover the biggest resume mistakes that make your application look outdated -- and that wasted space you could be using to highlight your biggest accomplishments. To get hired, pull these clichés off your resume today:

Everything and the Kitchen Sink

We're not talking about general personal information, like your name and address. But general information about your work history? Skip it.

Work information that doesn't relate directly to the job you're applying for shouldn't be on your resume. It's wasting space you could use to show you're the best possible hire for this job.

That Temp Job You Had in 2006

Nix jobs from your resume that are more than 10 years old. Even if they're related to the job you're applying for, most employers will see your experience as outdated.

Been in your current job more than 10 years? You can reach back further, but limit the list to no more than four previous work experiences -- and make sure they're all directly related to the job you're applying for.

That Bike-Decorating Contest You Won in Third Grade

Does an award make you more qualified for the job you're applying to? Don't spend a lot of time trying to justify: if the award doesn't make immediate sense in the context of the job, leave it off the list.

That Skill Everyone Else Has, Too

Twenty years ago, listing "Microsoft Word" on a resume made sense; it was a skill not everyone had mastered. Today, however, employers assume that just about everyone can use the popular software.

Instead, list any skills you have that truly set you apart from other candidates. Certified in three programming languages when the job ad only requires two? List the third one.

That Phrase Only One Industry Understands

While terms specific to your industry aren't outdated or cliche on their own, they do present you as a certain type of person: One who is married to their particular industry and who won't consider jobs outside it.

If you are open to positions outside your current industry, eliminate industry-specific jargon from your resume. Instead, talk about what you can do in more general terms.

That Phrase Nobody Understands

"Detail oriented." "Team player." These terms are so vague as to be utterly meaningless. Instead, use specific examples of times your attention to detail or willingness to work with a team accomplished a specific result -- and list what the result was.

Your Objective

The "objective" section of a resume? It had its day. Now, it's just wasting space that could be used to talk about what you've already done, instead of what you dream of doing.

Eliminate the objective section and talk about your goals in your cover letter or application email instead.

Need a resume review -- or looking for a new job?

Connect with a staffing recruiter! Experts in the job search, they can help you polish your resume, hone your interview skills, and then put them to use -- to find an assignment or position you love.

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