“A date is a job interview that lasts all night. The only difference between a date and a job interview is that there are not many job interviews where there’s a chance you’ll end up naked at the end of it.” -Jerry Seinfeld
Now, for the sections I think you ought to leave behind like high-waisted Mom jeans: objective, accomplishments, qualifications, and personal. Let’s start with my favorite, the objective. In the thousands of résumés I’ve reviewed over the years, I can tell you no objective statement has ever moved me to think more favorably about a candidate. However, I cannot tell you how many times an objective statement has moved me to think less favorably about a candidate—especially when the candidate wants to work for the wrong organization or achieve a lofty goal, such as world peace. The rightful place for stating one’s objective is the cover letter—let’s just keep it there.
Accomplishments and qualifications are two sections I’ve seen creeping—like bad government policy—into résumés as of late. All of the information contained in sections like these should already appear in other parts of your résumé; your accomplishments should appear under each job, and your qualifications should appear under each job or under the education section. Therefore, by inserting these sections, you are essentially repeating yourself or creating more work for the hiring manager by making them flip between sections to understand the context for the accomplishments or qualifications. Make everyone’s life easier by leaving these sections out of your résumé.
Finally, there’s the personal section of résumés. In one word—don’t do it. Not only is the section a gold leafed invitation to provide information that could get a hiring manager into legal trouble (your marital status, whether you have children, your religion, etc.), it’s simply not relevant. (I’m impressed you like to mountain bike and shoot skeet, but what in the Sam Hill does that have to do with a tax policy analyst position?) Save your personal revelations for happy hour with co-workers after you get the job.
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