You’ve probably heard that phrase a million times. All through high school and college, “it’ll look good on your resume” was a bonus to volunteering, participating in a sport, or leading an organization.
Surprisingly, listing some of these resume items on your resume could end up hurting your job search. It’s important to keep your resume as focused as possible, and this may mean downplaying, or even eliminating, certain activities.
For example, let’s say you spend your weekends reading to children. While this is a noble pursuit, it does not make sense when listed on the resume of someone applying for an accounting position. However, this would be a great addition for someone applying to be a teacher.
Why not list everything? While being a well-rounded person is certainly an asset to most jobs, the resume should be targeted as much as possible to the specific position that you’re applying for. You only have a page or two to communicate why you are the strongest candidate. You don’t want to take up valuable space with activities that aren’t particularly relevant. Managers and recruiters don’t spend much time reading each resume initially, so you’ll want to immediately show them why you should be considered for the position you’re applying for.
Don’t feel that your experiences won’t lend anything to your career. Chances are that in the interview, you’ll be able to let your personality shine through, and you can tell the employer more about your background. If not, however, you have still picked up valuable skills from your activities that can only help you in your new job.