Resumes are tricky to get absolutely right and although there are no hard rules about what should and shouldn’t be included in them, there are a few things that can affect how your prospective employers perceive you negatively. In such a competitive job market one slip-up can be all it takes to eliminate you from the running, so it’s important you invest time in perfecting your resume and really considering what it is that employers want to read.
It’s likely that you’ve read lots of advice about what you should write in your resume, but what about what you shouldn’t include?
Here are eight things that you should avoid putting in your resume, to give yourself the best chance of being considered for the job.
Under objective, you state the type of job you want and what you want to accomplish. Lots of resume templates that you find online will suggest you include this; however, this information is redundant because clearly, your objective is to get hired for the position you are applying for.
A short personal summary of some of your top achievements and experiences would be a much more worthwhile opening paragraph and will give the employer an insight into what you can offer them, rather than what you are after.
2) Personal information:
Including personal information such as your height, weight, age, race, marital status, number of children is not only irrelevant but also inappropriate. It is illegal for a prospective employer to ask for this information during a job interview so why include it on your resume?
If this information does not directly affect your work performance or availability, there is no need to include it.
Listing your salary history or demand on your resume is disadvantageous to you and may cause your resume to be passed over. The issue of salary is usually addressed during the interview or when the employer decides to offer you the job. Unless you are required by an employer to include this information, leave it out.
You could also potentially close the door on the opportunity to negotiate a higher salary or receive the offer that you were after by disclosing salary information at such an early stage.
Listing your references or putting “references available upon request” on your resume is a waste of space. Most employers will not check the references of their candidates until they have had interviewed them. An employer will ask for your references if they are interested in offering you a job and you should provide the information at this time.
This being said, always make sure that you have up to date contact details for at least three references available if an employer were to ask for them at any point.
5) Links to your personal blog or social media sites:
If you are not applying for a writing job, do not include this information. If you are applying for a creative role, for example, a web designer position, you can provide links to your professional website with your portfolio, and this website should be separate from your personal website.
Remember this, most employers are not interested in seeing pictures of you partying with your friends or what you ate for breakfast.
If you do choose to share this information, make sure that you come across as professionally as possible, and have not posted anything that will harm your chances of being considered for the job.
It’s tempting to ‘elaborate’ on your skills and experience when writing your resume, but I recommend you steer as close to the truth as possible when giving your resume a bit of a boost. Recruiters can often see right through any false statements and will frequently conduct background checks on candidates.
On top of this, can you imagine anything more embarrassing than being caught out in a lie mid-interview?
7) Typos and grammatical mistakes:
Before you send out your resume, make sure that you proofread it several times and ask other people to check it over for you.
Make sure that your contact information is accurate or your prospective employers won’t be able to get hold of you. Moreover, a resume full of grammatical mistakes won’t reflect well on you, as it may imply that you have bad attention to detail or aren’t taking the job hunt very seriously.
It is inappropriate to include your picture or other clipart on your resume. Unless you are applying for an acting or modeling job, what you look like has little or no impact on your job.
In addition to this, having images on your resume makes it appear less formal.