Résumé Building: Should This Go On My Résumé?

Published in CareersConnect, August 2012

By Cheryl Palmer

In our ever-changing world, it can be difficult to stay on top of all the changes. What's in today is out tomorrow and vice versa. If you have been fortunate not to have to look for a job in a while, you may not know what the trends are in résumé writing. And in this case, what you don't know could hurt you.

So take this article as your roadmap. This is your guide to what to leave in and what to leave out.

Mailing Address

It is standard to put your mailing address on your résumé. However, if you are posting your résumé to a standard website like CareerBuilder or Monster, it's best to omit your street address and just put the city and state along with your e-mail address and cell phone number. The reason for this is that you don't want to give identity thieves information that could help them take advantage of you.

LinkedIn Profile URL

If you have a dynamic LinkedIn profile, then you should definitely include the URL for it on your résumé. It shows that you are social media savvy, and it can provide more information to an employer than a standard two-page résumé.

QR Codes

These are not yet standard on the résumé. However, if you are looking for an IT job, this can be impressive if that QR code leads an employer to your LinkedIn profile or curated Google results for your name from a site like Vizibility.

Objective

An objective is only necessary if you are a recent graduate with little to no work experience or if you are changing careers. Otherwise, a professional summary is what should be at the top of your résumé after your name and contact information. The professional summary is just five or six lines that give employers a teaser of who you are and how you can add value to the organization. The rest of the résumé supports the professional summary.

GPA

You only need to include your GPA from your undergraduate and graduate education if you have a recent degree and only if your GPA is impressive. If your degree(s) is more than five years old, you can feel comfortable leaving off your GPA. And if your degree is recent, but your GPA was less than stellar, still leave it off. You want to put your best foot forward in this very important document.

Personal Information

As a general rule, it is best to omit personal information such as hobbies or even involvement in organizations whose names clearly connote a religious affiliation or political preference. However, in some cases it can be worthwhile to include personal information. An example would be mentioning a sport as a hobby if you are applying for a managerial position with a sportswear company. Or you might mention political preference if you are applying for a position with a presidential campaign.

References

You should not include references on your résumé. It is assumed that you will furnish a list of your references at the time of the interview.

About the Author

Cheryl Palmer is a career expert, professional speaker, and the president of Call to Career. Learn more about Cheryl at www.linkedin.com/in/cherylpalmer. She can be contacted at Cheryl.Palmer@calltocareer.com or by visiting www.calltocareer.com. Her blog is available at www.calltocareer.com/category/blog. To receive the free report, “Top 10 Mistakes that Executives Make,” visit www.calltocareer.com.

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