Here’s the thing about being different: it's a good thing. And in certain circumstance, like when you’re on a contract quest or searching for full-time work, it can be a very good thing.
Because standing out gets you noticed. And it’s an excellent segway into fitting into an organization of like-minded individuals.
But here’s another thing: when it comes to resumes, there’s a distinct difference between the content standing out because it’s impressive or raising eyebrows for appearing too outside of standard practices. Because even though your resume needs to be tailored differently to each job you apply to, it needs to be kept in line with the standard practices of the country you're applying in.
If you're proofing your resume for a North American application, here are 6 things you should leave off if you want to stand out for the right reasons:
A recent study found 88% of hiring managers admit to rejecting qualified candidates for having a photo on their resume. So, unless a selfie is a necessary step in the application, keep it off yours. Justin Yusufali, a Technical Recruiter with Procom explains, "I always find it a tad bit weird when the individual puts a photo of themselves on the resume. I did let them know that it's unnecessary and that I would be removing it."
Vincent Kwok, a Technical Recruiter with Procom agrees, "Although it is very common in other parts of the world, no photos on a resume please!"
Law makers have made it illegal for a hiring manager to ask your age, however; including yours on a resume could also lead to unfair assumptions. The number on the top of the page may subconsciously have the reader assume you're "too old" or "too young" for the role before he or she even gets further down the page to your work history. Is it fair? No. Yet, can it happen? Yes.
3. Marital status
Your relationship status is best left for Facebook. Not your resume. It can leave the impression is that you haven't been in the market for a while and are stuck in how things used to be vs. modern day job searching.
Religious beliefs could have helped instill the qualities hiring managers are looking for, but it's best to demonstrate those qualities rather than profess their origin. Instead, list facts and accomplishments instead of your faith on a resume.
5. Inappropriate email address
Another recent study found 76% of resumes are dismissed for having an unprofessional email address. "Hotgina@yahoo.com is very questionable," says Valerie Anderson-Migliore, a Technical Recruiter with Procom. "The impression I have is that they have poor judgment and unprofessional manner. I might call to quality but advise they set up separate professional email - as well as checking security tools on their social media accounts."
6. Hobbies and interests
This one can be a bit iffy, but if your hobbies and interests don't relate to the job you're applying to, you may want to leave them off your resume and save that valuable piece of real estate to list other quantifiable achievements instead. Richard Huntington, a Recruiter with Procom agrees, "The thing that strikes me as weird or inappropriate on resumes is hobbies or interests sections. It just strikes me as a distracted candidate who isn't totally focused on employment."
No one's job search is going to be the same, but there is a difference between what's universally acceptable and what's geographically appropriate.
Are you working with a staffing agency to find IT jobs or other opportunities?