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 volunteer work, involvement in a sport, or leadership in an organization.

Surprisingly, some of these things that you thought could only help you get a job, could end up hurting you. It's important to keep your resume as targeted as possible, and this may mean downplaying, or 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 to the resume of someone applying for a teaching position.

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 activites that aren't particularly relevant. Managers and recruiters don't initially spend much time reading each resume, so you'll want it 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 job search. 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.

Author's Bio: 

Charlotte Weeks is a Certified Career Management Coach and Certified Professional Resume Writer. She specializes in helping mid to upper level professionals get their dream jobs. For details and to get your FREE special report “HOW TO ANSWER THE FIVE MOST DIFFICULT INTERVIEW QUESTIONS” go to: or visit