What You Should Never Include on Your Resume

What You Should Never Include on Your Resume

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As you write your resume, knowing what information to leave out is just as important as knowing what information to include. You should think of your resume as a marketing document and ask yourself what pieces of information hiring managers would most value. Usually, this question requires some thought. However, there are some items that you can quickly cross off your list. For example, you should never include personal information about marital status, religious preference, or social security number. Convention demanded this information in the past, but in today’s market it may cost you a job.

Another clear item to avoid is references. Employers assume that you have them and will ask for references if they want them. You don’t need to waste space listing them or saying that they are available. Also, if you have a silly or unprofessional e-mail address, you should create a new one to use for professional purposes. Today, you can create a new address for free in a minute, so there is no excuse for using the same one you have had since high school.

If you are currently employed, do not include any contact information that links you to your job. You do not need a potential new employer calling your current company to ask for you or e-mailing you at a work address.

Other items to exclude vary depending upon your unique circumstances. You should only mention relevant jobs, but this means different things at different stages in your career. Early on, you may need to include a high school job and show how you developed skills that link to your current career. After a decade of professional work, however, you should cut out the excess to keep your resume at a single page.

You should also avoid listing your hobbies. A resume is not a Facebook page, and most employers will not care. Some hiring managers may even overlook a resume for including irrelevant information. If, on the other hand, your hobbies directly relate to your career, then you can include them. People who are changing careers may want to highlight hobbies and volunteer experience to demonstrate relevant skill sets.

Another questionable item is the objective statement. For some people, this feels outdated. The statement is also superfluous if your objective is to get the job for which you are applying. On the other hand, if you are changing careers or following a new path, this is the space to explore your reasons why.

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