Top Five Things NOT to Include on Your Resume

2014-04-02 by Carolyn

Many people are under the impression that a resume is intended to be an “About Me” page for potential employers. While in some ways this is true, a resume has a very specific purpose – to get you a job. For this reason, it is important that every single piece of information on your resume furthers that purpose while also telling potential employers about you. Below are the top five commonly found things NOT to include on your resume.

Photos & Flair -  Everyone wants to stand out, particularly when applying for a job. However, employers are not interested in what you look like, and some will simply toss resumes that include photos to avoid discrimination lawsuits. Additionally, brightly colored or patterned papers, unnecessary graphics and fancy fonts, or other embellishments make your resume seem unprofessional and detract from what’s really relevant – your skills and qualifications.

Hobbies & Interests -  Unless any of your hobbies or interests are DIRECTLY related to the job you’re seeking, it is best not to include this information on your resume. The exception to this is if you are involved in charitable activities or community groups. Also do not include links to your personal webpage or social networking sites unless they are strictly business-related.

Objectives -  While it used to be standard practice to include a personal objective on your resume, today’s employers are more interested in the skills and abilities you have that are relevant to the job you have applied for. Instead of an objective statement, include a short profile statement highlighting your experience and strongest skills.

References -  If an employer needs references, they will ask for them specifically. Including references on your resume, or the popular “references available upon request” only wastes paper, and it is generally assumed that you can provide references if required. Providing references on your resume also increases the risk that a potential employer will call your references before you’ve had a chance to let them know you’ve included them on your reference list.

Misinformation -  Simple common sense dictates that you should never lie on your resume, yet surprisingly a number of people…embellish the truth a bit on their resumes. Providing misinformation on your resume will disqualify you for a job faster than anything else, as well as blemish your reputation. Don’t claim to have education or experience you do not actually have, since all of that information can easily be verified.  However, it is important to understand that not including certain information is not considered providing misinformation. For example, employment that isn’t related to the job you are seeking can be left off your resume, as can the year you graduated college if it’s been more than ten years since then.  Conclusively, it is a given that your resume should be free of spelling or grammatical errors, should include your relevant contact information, and be clearly organized. And it is worth repeating that every piece of information on your resume should be directly related to the job you are seeking. Your resume is your first impression on employers – make it a good one.