A resume is a summary of your academic and working experience that should not exceed two pages. Some people include too many things in their resume, which may confuse the reader instead of adding value. The limited amount of space should be fully utilised with pointers that will impress an employer and increase the chances of you getting an interview. Here are five potential pitfalls to avoid.

1. Hobbies and interests

While interesting and uncommon hobbies may pique the interest of employers, it will not affect your employability. Your hobbies to skydive or horseback ride may indicate your spontaneity, but these have little to add to your actual abilities in contributing to the organisation.

However, if your hobby is relevant to the job that you are applying for, go ahead and include it. For example, if you want to apply for a job in philately, you can mention your interest in collecting stamps. But if you are after a job in banking and finance, an interest in financial markets is expected of you. In that case, it is best to leave it out.

2. Salary Expectations

Unless specifically requested for by the employer, do not include your expected salary. Just like how you sell a product, you should not start with the price. Use your experiences to justify yourself as a valuable asset to the company and convince the employer to arrange an interview with you. You may ask about the salary expectations after the interview, or after you have been offered the job.

If you are required to indicate your expected salary, give them a range, like “$2,000 to $3,000” instead of “$3,000”. You can also substitute figures with phrases like “entry level pay”.

3. Career Objective

An objective is another unnecessary item on the resume. Clearly, if you are sending in a job application, you are looking for a job. It is not advised to talk about your self-serving goals too as you may come across as being self-centred.

Your personal goals and objectives, once again, can be conveyed during an interview if the interviewer asks about it.

4. References

Even though references may seem like the right way to end off a resume, it actually is a waste of space. Should the employer require the contact of any references, he or she would let you know and ask for it. You do not have to list the contact of someone else in a document that speaks about you.

5. Irrelevant job experiences

Employers are seldom interested in the part-time waitressing jobs you have taken on during your school holidays. While such jobs give you experience in serving customers, you can mention that in the passing while interacting with an interviewer. Focus on previous jobs or projects which you had contributed substantially and have produced results in.

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