Five Minute Feedback – What Skills Can You REMOVE from Your Resume?


Hi everybody! Thanks so much for joining us for Five Minute Feedback this Wednesday. For those of you that have never joined us for Five Minute Feedback, this is a video series, where every single weekday I actually take one resume that someone’s asked me to review for them on LinkedIn, and then I provide two or three things that this person can do from a recruiter’s perspective to make it even better. So without further ado, let me get out my phone here and then we’ll set the clock for just five minutes. (Pop sound) Alright, so the first thing…actually let me scroll through this resume so that you can see it and what it looks like. The first thing that you’ll notice on this resume is actually the fact that this person has great structure: They really make it easy to find the sections that I care about as recruiter EXPERIENCE down here… They have INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE up here, as well as their most recent EDUCATION. And so that’s really helpful when I want to hone in on things that I care about. However, what is a little confusing is that this resume isn’t written chronologically so their present Work Experience is actually all the way down towards the bottom of the first page which starts right here. And so, it was a little confusing at first. I expected to see their present work experience at the top and their past work experience listed below it. And So what you can see here is that this would be a very simple fix for this person to make. All they would have to do is ‘copy and paste’ the sections into their appropriate places. You always want to start with your most current work history and then work your way back into the past. My suggested order for someone like this that is recently graduated and just started working is, making an EXPERIENCE section that includes BOTH of your internships AND your work experience as it currently stands and putting those all in one section called EXPERIENCE. Then, put your EDUCATION section at the bottom because that is something that has been completed and it’s safe to assume you graduated. You can just actually write “Graduated” and you don’t even have to put the dates there. So what about the “Summary of Qualifications” section up here and the “Related Coursework and Knowledge” section? So let’s hit each of these in succession. The first is that, under the summary qualification, this person puts that they’re “proficient using the Microsoft Office suite.” They write “Word” here, they write “PowerPoint”, and they write “Excel.” Now, it’s safe to assume for most of us that because this resume is written in Microsoft Word that they do know how to use Microsoft Word and probably likely know how to use PowerPoint. So the ability to use Microsoft Office is not something that’s enough of a distinguishing factor that I would put it under “Summary of Qualifications.” It doesn’t make you stand out from any other applicants from the job. Most people know how to use Microsoft Word and so I don’t think a view it so much of a “qualification” as much as maybe a skill that you’ve developed that most people have. And then also up here if we look at it we see that they say to have “strong interpersonal and organizational skills” but you want to prove those to me in the bullet points you have in the resume. You don’t want to just say that you have them. It’s showing, not telling and I think that that would be the reason why I would actually remove the “Summary of Qualifications” section. It doesn’t really add much for me to this resume. In fact, it just takes up space. Same thing goes with the “Related Coursework and Knowledge” section. This person talked about how they “…developed an understanding of general business structure…” however, the internships they’ve held – one is a Human Resources Internship and the other is Global Operations Internship and then they’re also a Sales Associate at their current company, and that IS actually a way that they probably “developed an understanding of general business structure…” So you actually have shown me that, you don’t have to tell me that you’ve done that, and so I would consider removing this also because the coursework here may not be directly tied to what you’re looking to do now that you’re in a business context. So really making your resume “tell the story you want it to tell” I say this a lot but it is important to do that. So the one exception to this, going back to “Summary of Qualifications” is that if we look at Microsoft Excel not everyone else knows how to “VLOOKUP” or “Pivot Table.” So we just need to say something in a resume that is a bullet point, not just listing it as a skill. For instance, you might say “…utilize Microsoft Excel daily including VLOOKUPS and pivot tables to generate financial reporting.” That tells me a very different story about what you’re doing on a day-to-day basis and just writing “Microsoft Excel.” So if we remove both of these sections and tie them into our bullet points, we actually give ourselves an entire third of a page of white space that can be used for something else and bring us back to where we need to be. Lastly if you look at this person’s current role here, we’ll see that they’ve used and I really like this They said, “Sales and Marketing Representatives” and then they told me what the acronym meant – “SMR” are in parentheses. A lot of times people just write acronyms and not tell me what they mean, and you’ll see that they this person actually doesn’t tell me what PDC means they assume that I know it, and so they write PDC here and PDC here. But every time you use an acronym always spell it out the first time, and this is because acronyms vary widely across different businesses and companies. So the last thing you want is the recruiter to guess or interpret your acronym incorrectly. To wrap up here make sure that you have your resume chronological, go from current to past work history or experience. Don’t state things that most people have a skill such as Microsoft Office, and spell out you’re on aconyms the first time you use them, so that the recruiter can tie two and two together. Whew, that’s a lot but it looks like we’re just about at time… so that’s all I have time for for today. If you’re interested in having your resume on Five Minute Feedback, please send me a LinkedIn message with your resume in Word Doc form and as usual, I’ll take care of the rest. Thanks friends – I’ll see you tomorrow. Take care!

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