The purpose of a resume is to tout your talents to a prospective employer; however, not all talents deserve a listing. Yahoo’s HotJobs sets out criteria for which achievements you should include and which you should leave off entirely.
Photo by jon tunn.
According to their post, any accomplishment you highlight should meet three criteria. Subjective wiggle room notwithstanding, the accomplishments in question should be 1) truly noteworthy, 2) relevant to your current career goals, and 3) relatively recent.
On the other hand, job seekers should leave off what the post calls “The Unquantifiable Accomplishment”, meaning bragging rights that can’t be confirmed by your current employer or through another simple inquiry. Using superlatives to describe your work skills generally meets this no-no.
Also worth avoiding is “The Not-So-Notable Accomplishment”, such as a less than stellar academic record and any offbeat accomplishment that bears no relevance to the job you’re applying for. We would add however that an offbeat accomplishment can be useful as a talking point or springboard during the interview itself, or even as a way to distinguish your resume from the pile, so don’t rule these out entirely.
Browse the post for other accomplishments better left off your resume, then read up on the six words you should kill and phrases to avoid to keep your resume relevant. If you’ve got more to say on the subject, let’s hear it in the comments.