What to Leave Off Your Resume

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Resumes, being brief by nature, shouldn’t include many extra words. While you should spend plenty of time making sure that your resume has everything it needs to impress an employer, you should also ensure that you avoid details that might create a negative impression or waste space. Here are several pieces of information to leave off your resume:

– Personal data and photographs. Unless you’re applying to a foreign company that directly requests a photograph, leave your picture off your resume. Including one may raise legal flags at businesses that must prove they do not use discriminatory hiring practices. The same goes for personal details like age, sex, ethnicity, and family composition.

– Work experience not related to the position you’re applying for. Your resume should be an example of the best work you’ve done, not a comprehensive list of every job you’ve ever held. Stick to recent positions, and if you must include an unrelated job to avoid gaps in your employment history, try to demonstrate how it prepared you for the job you’re applying for in some way.

– Anything about high school. Unless you graduated recently, your achievements in high school will be irrelevant to potential employers. Including them might raise red flags or pose a distraction and won’t help you earn a position.

– Salary history. Salary discussions and negotiations typically occur later in the interview process, and including your salary information on a resume may cause a recruiter to see you as inexperienced or overqualified; it may also undermine your ability to negotiate compensation later on.

– An objective. Many recruiters see objectives as outdated, and they run the risk of hurting you if they don’t line up with what a potential employer needs. Objectives seen as unrealistic or overconfident, for instance, can cause recruiters to lose interest before they get to the heart of your resume.

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