Resume & CV Writing

Although it seems that the things you should exclude on resumes can be determined easily enough through common sense, some job seekers still manage to commit gaffes that are quite unthinkable.

What is considered common knowledge for resume experts and for recruiters may escape job applicants, especially new ones who may not know that there are some items in their resume that just don’t work. Take a look at the list below and make sure that they aren’t part of your resume.

1. Objectives

The wide use of objectives can be attributed to old resume wizards that applicants use to create their resumes. These days it makes more sense to develop a branding statement or professional summary to tell recruiters and potential employers exactly what you are about and what you have to offer.

So ditch the objectives altogether!

2. Too Much Jargon

Using too much or too little technical or industry jargon can be a major turn off for recruiters and potential employers; too much is overkill, too little may reflect inexperience. Here’s a tip: scan the job advertisement and see what keywords or jargon are used, then insert them strategically in your branding statement or professional summary (ideally the first sentence).

Remember though that you have to back up whatever you put in your resume…so if your experience doesn’t reflect it, better leave the jargon out. If you happen to be changing careers, then it is prudent to avoid using jargon from your previous industry.

Focus on your transferable skills and experiences, and elaborate on how they can be applied to the new industry you wish to enter.

3. Personal Information

Don’t ever include your social security number, professional license numbers and other forms of identification; this could open the door to identity theft, and that’s the last thing you need to worry about during a job search. Provide this information only when asked (and this usually happens after you are interviewed, not before), so protect yourself.

Also, any non-professional related affiliations are better left unsaid, unless you are applying for a non-profit organization that is focused on a specific cause, and you happen to be affiliated with a group that advocates that cause.

Remember also to check and double-check your resume for typographical, grammatical and syntax errors. If you are directing recruiters or potential employers to a link, such as a blog, a social media page or an online resume or portfolio, make sure the links are not broken and that the information is in sync with the resume you are submitting.

Keep your resume simple, clean, complete and relevant. Stay focused on the facts, strengthen your achievements with numbers and don’t be afraid to show a little personality.

Related: How To Make LinkedIn and Your Resume Work Together.

Over the past 10 years, Karen Flowers, a.k.a. The Resume Chick, has assisted thousands of job seekers by providing them with a resume that brought them the confidence and professionalism they needed to get an interview. Image: Shutterstock.


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