Stuff your stocking, not your resume. 

With Christmas just around the corner, there are many things we would like to fill our stockings with on Christmas Day. From little trinkets to handy gadgets, the bounty of fun new toys brings people great joy. But as a recruiter or a job candidate, the one type of stuffing that you want to avoid is resume stuffing. It ultimately compromises your integrity and can often be seen as a red flag to the recruiter or hiring manager.

What exactly is resume stuffing?

This is when fluff is added to a resume making it appear like you have more experience than you really do. Let’s say, for example, you have knowledge of all the Adobe Creative Suite programs, but you only really use Adobe Photoshop. If you state on your resume that you use all of the programs simply because you may have touched them once, you risk being hired under the pretense that you can design in Adobe Illustrator when you actually cannot. This can pose a problem down the road. Adding false criteria to your resume will eventually come back to hurt you.

One of the reasons people choose to resume stuff is because they feel their resume is lacking substance. For those seeking an entry-level job without much experience, it can sometimes be hard to fill an entire page with relevant information. Listing your hobbies and irrelevant content can actually do more harm than good. Recruiters, and more importantly employers, are looking at your resume to determine how good of a fit you will be for the position. Unless you are applying for a job as a botanist, you don’t need to list gardening as a skill.

Quality over quantity

On the other hand, for those with extensive experience, it can be hard to not over-inflate a resume. If you have 10 years of experience under your belt, you may be inclined to list everything, making it appear that you are very knowledgeable. But this can also be detrimental. At this point, you should strive for quality over quantity. Select parts of your background that are cohesive with exactly what your future employer is looking for.

So stick with stuffing stockings this season, even though it may seem like a good idea to add the extra fluff to your resume. It really never is.