The look of your resume is so important. Sometimes it’s even more important than the contents of your resume. I say this because if your resume isn’t pleasing to the eye, a hiring manager or recruiter isn’t going to take a lot of time reading what’s on the resume. One thing that makes resumes look better is white space. There’s a balancing act for this though. You don’t want too much white space (because it’ll look like you don’t have much to offer), but you definitely need it because, if not, everyone that reads it will end up with a headache. One way to increase white space and the overall look of your resume is to eliminate information that doesn’t help the purpose of a resume, which is to show the employer that you can do the job. Below I’ve listed 3 things that you can delete from your resume today, that will give you more space and improve the overall look.

1. Your home address – I believe that I removed my home address from my resume about 5 years ago. It started when I would post my resume to websites like Career Builder. I knew that any employer who had paid for their database would have access to my resume. I didn’t want random recruiters or anyone who possessed a password to an account having that kind of personal information. So, when I would upload my resume to databases that recruiters and employers could search, I would upload the version of my resume that didn’t include my address. Eventually, I removed it from all versions of my resume. There’s no real reason to include your home address on your resume, unless an employer specifically requests it. As long as you have a way for the employer to contact you (phone and email), you’re safe to remove your address from your resume.

2. Objective – I’m not really sure of the origin of this, but you don’t need it! Most employers will assume that your objective is to get the job that you’ve applied to with their company. The worst versions of this on resumes includes objectives that have nothing to do with the job being pursued. If your resume has an objective, please remove it and add something useful like a Profile Summary. Objective statements make you look weird and more importantly take up precious space.

3. References – References aren’t bad and if you have the space for them (because maybe you don’t have much work experience and have lots of room available), you could definitely add them to your resume. However, if your resume is already 2 pages long and it’s moving to 3, remove the references from your resume. References can always be uploaded as an additional document and most often employers will request them after you’ve been extended an offer. References on the resume take up space that could be allocated to listing additional accomplishments and skills.

When you submit your resume to a company for a job, you don’t want to be immediately dismissed because of the way your resume looks. Take some time to review your resume and see what can be removed to improve the overall look. This list is a good start, but I have a bigger resource for you.

When fill out the form below you will receive the Resume Audit Checklist in your inbox. The checklist will take you through steps to audit your own resume. At the end you should have a good idea of what improvements need to be made.

Does your resume include your home address, an objective statement or references? If so, will you be removing them? Why or why not?

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