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3 Things Employers Don't Care About on Your Resume

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on March 31, 2015 7:01 AM

Have you been applying to jobs and not hearing back? Don't worry, that doesn't mean you're a bad candidate. You could just have a resume that needs some serious help.

In the current job market, employers are swamped with eager candidates, so they won't think twice before discarding an applicant. One great way to get your resume trashed? Waste time on things employers don't care about. Here's three of them:

1. All Your Duties, None of Your Results

Your resume shouldn't just cover what you're required to do, it should demonstrate what you've accomplished. Where possible, detail the results of the work you've done. Say, for example, that as a lobbyist you drafted legislation deregulating the breeding and sale of tropical fish. Nice! Fish are cool pets, even if they're a bit boring. But instead of just listing the task, tell your potential new boss what happened. Did you save Pets'R'Us a few hundred grand through your efforts? Decrease the state's regulatory burden? Unleash a plague of invasive monsters? Adding your accomplishments along with your duties emphasizes not just the tasks you've done, but the benefits you can provide.

2. Your Objectives

At some point in your life, some misguided fool may have had you put an objective statement at the start of your resume. The objective, particularly if it's something along the lines of "to obtain the position of..." isn't just redundant -- of course that's your objective, doofus, otherwise you wouldn't be applying! -- it misunderstands the hiring relationship. Your application is about what the employer wants, not your own goals. Why you'll satisfy the employer's needs and how the position will fit into your overall narrative is something you can explain in the cover letter, should your resume not do the job well enough. So, please, cut this superfluous bit off your resumes.

3. Your Every Contract and Freelance Gig

Today, short term, piece-meal work isn't unusual, especially for recent grads looking to pay their bills and get some experience before they land a more permanent job. However, cluttering your resume with a string of short term positions isn't going to make you look good. Your resume should focus in on the items that best highlight your skills and fitness; you don't have to include every contract job and internship. The ones that are relevant can stay, but the rest is just noise.

Any other ideas about what should be left off a resume? Let us know via Twitter (@FindLawLP) or Facebook (FindLaw for Legal Professionals).

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