How to Create a Positive Resume Perception by Choosing What To Include
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Your resume is something like a business’ flyer or brochure. For instance, when you hand flyers out, there are typically around three possible instances that can happen.

  1. They to go trash bins.
  2. People take a short glance and then stuff them in a bag or pocket (sometimes left to be forgotten).
  3. They catch the passerby’s attention and s/he stops to ask the person more about the product on the flyer.

Your resume can fall into similar situations when they land in the hands of your potential employers. It could either be thrown away, shredded, or left on the shelf to collect dust. However, if you play your cards right, your resume can encourage an employer to invite you for an interview.

I wrote about the three resume writing tips to accelerate your job search. These can work as a basis for the three things that need to be on your resume to catch attention.

In addition to that, you also need to work on how employers will tend to perceive your resume. Depending on what you include or exclude in there, you can mould the right or the wrong perception of yourself.

What goes in and what stays out


If you’re looking to relocate to a certain area and applying for jobs there, leave out your address. Alternatively, you can add that you’re “willing to relocate” or specify further with “relocating to (area within proximity of company)”. This helps breakdown the employer’s impression that you may take a while before starting work as you live far away.

Month of Employment

Leave out months when you’re specifying the duration of work you did at a certain company. This prevents employers from making wild guesses as to what you were doing in those months of unemployment. However, if you had any jobs that lasted less than a year, adding months would be a good idea.

Type of Employment

When you’ve done contractual work but you’re aiming to get a permanent position, don’t use the term “contract”. It’ll help change the employer’s perception that you’re only interested in contractual roles.

Irrelevant Work Experience

Career transitions can often leave you getting into a few odd jobs in order to get by. These aren’t usually worth mentioning in your resume as it’ll only look out of place. If you have to write them down, though, just use one-liners. You can use the words “career note:” then follow it with your one-liner description. You can even use this for indicating long maternity or sabbatical leaves.

Keyword Table of Expertise

If you’re making a career or industry change, create a table of relevant keywords of your transferable skills and experience. This effectively draws the attention of employers as they can easily get an idea of what you can do. Doing this is also a good idea if you’re looking for a job after working for over 10 years as it’s a good summary of your skills and expertise.

Bold Job Titles and Company Names

Particularly if you’ve worked at top companies, bolding them in your resume will instantly highlight these impressive roles. The same thing goes for highlighting positive career progressions, promotions, and high level/relevant job titles.

Work Experience of More Than 15 Years

When you’re applying for jobs asking for 5-10 years of work experience, you might think having more will give you an edge. On the contrary, employers may end up trying to guess your age and jump to the conclusion that you’re overqualified. You should also remove your year of graduation if you have more than 20 years of experience. This also prevents employers from assuming that you’re close to retirement age.

Personal Branding Statement

The typical resume uses an objective statement, but an effective resume uses a personal branding statement. Using your own personal branding statement helps your resume appear more focused on what you can do for the employer. It also helps emphasize how you can add value instead of just stating what you want from the company. This promotes the perception of proactiveness, one of the top qualities employers look for in a candidate.

BUT! Don’t raise any red flags!

NEVER lie or give false information in your resume, as no employer would want to hire a dishonest person. Rather, be wiser at choosing what to emphasize in your resume. That way, you create a better (but still true to life) perception of your resume.

Kamara Toffolo! Join to learn different resume tips and insights from a career coach/recruiter AND a professional resume & LinkedIn profile writer. Find out how you’re supposed to write your resumes if you want success.

Resumes that Get Interviews Webinar


What do you think should be included or left out in an awesome resume? Let me know in the comments!

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Diana YK Chan

Diana YK Chan

Diana is a former Recruiter turned Career Coach, Speaker and Trainer at My Marketability. She helps ambitious professionals and executives design the next chapter of their life, navigate transformational changes, and land incredible opportunities with a higher income. She’s an expert at distinguishing people’s unique brand value, mastering their messages and networking with confidence to gain a competitive edge. She’s recognized by JobScan as one of the Top 10 Job Search Experts to follow on LinkedIn.