Why Not Include Everything?

I received this question from a reader the other day:

Several times in your online course and your ebook, you mention not to include things that do not pertain directly to what you’ve chosen as your Value Proposition, but you never say why it would be a bad thing to include extra information. Why? Why should you not include a little extra? Most people would probably think that it might set them apart from the crowd. I’m asking about job-related info, not personal hobbies and such.

Trying to set ourselves apart by saying more is a common mistake. I’ve mentioned before that we’re currently redesigning our website and one of the challenges when we started was to define our value proposition and then stick to it. There are so many great things about our service and I found myself wanting to crowbar them all in even after we had decided on our central message. It takes discipline to stick to your core message. But it’s well worth making the effort.

Because here’s the thing: As you add all those extra pieces of information, you may feel that this is the one fact that will push the interviewer over the edge and persuade him to talk to you. But the truth is that each extra piece of information is blurring your core message. What you think is helping may actually be hurting.

When deciding what to add in to your resume, ask yourself one simple question: Will this piece of information show employers why I can solve their specific problems? If the answer is yes, include it. If the answer is no, leave it out.

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