For job seekers, the resume may be the most important document they need. After all, what’s on that simple piece of paper can mean the difference between landing an interview and landing in the circular file.
While most job seekers concentrate on what theyshould include on their resume, few pay attention to what they shouldn’t include. This article explores 10 things you should never put on your resume.
1. A crazy objective
So you want to be the next Bill Gates. Terrific! And you may even have the chops to make it happen. But please don’t put it in your objective statement. Outlandish, overconfident, or “out there” objective statements almost always ensure that the rest of your resume isn’t read.
2. Irrelevant job experience
Sure, the summer after freshman year you spent as Harry’s Hot Dog Hut mascot was the best ever. But unless you’re applying to wear the Gorilla suit for the Phoenix Suns, leave it out.
3. Achievements that aren’t achievements
Being nominated prom queen is not an achievement. Nor is belonging to a sorority or fraternity. And that award you won in a competitive eating contest? That’s right–not an achievement. Stick to professional and community service awards only.
4. Physical characteristics
Hiring managers don’t care if you have “ripped abs” or “a smokin’ bod,” so please don’t describe yourself that way. In addition, pictures should never be included with your resume unless you are an actor or model.
4. Strange hobbies
It’s fine to include a hobby or interest or two, as long as they aren’t the type to raise eyebrows. Avoid listing hobbies such as “knitting sweaters for my 12 cats,” and “twisting balloons into animal shapes.” Stick to less detailed and more generic hobbies, like “reading,” “gardening,” “mountain biking” and “playing tennis.” And keep them to a minimum.
5. Private matters
Sexual orientation, religious and political affiliations, marital status, age, and whether you have children should not be included on your resume. Some of these things are controversial and/or irrelevant, while others may unwittingly influence the hiring manager. Leave them out.
6. Bad grammar and obscure words
Describing yourself as a “Verry detail oriented multi-taster” is likely to get no other response than, “Yeah, right” before it’s passed around the HR department for laughs–and then tossed. And don’t try to impress with big words. No one needs to know you are endowed with “sophrosyne,” when “good sense” will do.
7. Unprofessional contact information
If your email address is email@example.com, don’t include it on your resume. Email addresses are free and most accounts allow you to get several, so either get a new, professional address or delete it from your resume.
8. Personal information
Your resume is no place for your social security number or other sensitive information. There’s no guarantee that your resume will be kept in a safe, secure place, so don’t include anything that could be stolen or used in identity theft.
9. Attention-getting tactics
Adding non-traditional elements to your resume willmake it stand out–but not in a good way. Different font types and ink colors, glitter and other adornments, and brightly colored or perfumed paper–yes, every hiring manager has seen at least a few of these memorable tactics–are all no-nos.
10. First impressions count a lot
When it comes to finding the right job, first impressions count a lot. You can ensure your resume gives a good first impression by knowing not only what to include, but also what not to include. Good luck in your job search!
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