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Don’t Put THAT on Your Resume!

By Kathryn Doan,

In today’s competitive job market, you need to ask yourself, why will the hiring manager put my resume on the top of their pile? Understanding that employers are looking to attract, retain and develop employees with certain skill sets is essential; as a result, make sure your resume matches the job characteristics. Every employer values a person that has attention to detail; so why not impress them with your customized resume for their role.


As a manager, I am continually surprised by the resumes that I receive that are full of errors, irrelevancy and I even ask the question if they know the role in which they just applied? The role of the resume is to accurately and efficiently convey your key skills, experience and educational criteria which would provide an invitation to the next step in the hiring process.


Every candidate brings unique skill sets to potential employers. When describing past roles and responsibilities, be clear, descriptive and take two or three points to explain the main strength in skill development. For example, saying experience in Customer Service means something very different to different people; be clear by expressing the benefits of problem solving or productivity efficiency in measurable terms such as sales or customer volume. It is vital to differentiate yourself from other candidates.


DON’T Include These Items on Your Resume:

  1. Don’t leave a glaring gap of time; unfortunately, people are without work, but it is vital to explain you didn’t simply fall off the face of the earth – explain if you can what you were doing.
  2. Make sure you do not have spelling errors; certain words spelled wrong can make for an uncomfortable read of the resume.
  3. Also, watch your punctuation–exclamation points have no place on a resume (as noted by Raising Hope above).
  4. Don’t include a photo. This is not necessary; your looks shouldn’t be a factor in getting a job.


DO Include These Items on Your Resume:

  1. Ensure the resume and cover letter are addressed to the firm with as much detail, job reference numbers or hiring manager details as possible.
  2. Double check to make sure the skill sets are in line with those outlined in the job posting.
  3. The increased use of digital platforms is being used to submit resumes and cover letters; make sure the title of the attached files are current and related.
  4. As people mature with age, so too does their experience; feel free to adjust your resume over time leaving adequate space for current and relevant events.


The resume is your one brief opportunity to elevate your skills and experience; make sure it is professional, accurate and relatable to the role.


This article was first published in the Career Cultivation blog. Check out the blog for more employment advice for your career in agriculture!