A polished and persuasive resume can help you land your next dream job. However, just one or two missteps can sabotage those efforts. Keep in mind, hiring managers only spend a few seconds on each resume – giving you very little time to make a great impression. If there’s a mistake, and they see it, you could wind up in the rejection pile.
So what should you keep off your resume? Here’s a look at a few items.
What Should You Not Include on Your Resume
Gone are the days of the career objective. The hiring manager knows your objective is to get an interview and potentially the job. Stating this simply wastes valuable real estate space you could be using to convince them why you’re a great fit. If you do include an objective, your resume will also look dated.
An Unprofessional Email
If you have a personal email address that is less-than-professional, it’s time for a change. Create an email account for your job search and stick to your name, or some simple – yet professional – variation of it you can use for employers.
You don’t want a silly email address to tank your job search. Keep in mind, the email address is one of the first items a hiring manager will see when they get your email and open your resume. You, therefore, want to ensure it’s making the best impression possible.
Saying you’re a “natural team player” or a “skilled and independent thinker” doesn’t tell the hiring manager much about what sets you apart and why they should consider you. So skip the fluff and just stick to the facts. Outline your job history, your tasks, and your accomplishments, quantifying them with hard figures wherever you can.
“References Available Upon Request”
Again, this wastes space and doesn’t serve a purpose. A hiring manager expects that if they ask you for references, you’ll provide them with a list – so stating it is essentially pointless. However, if you are sending out resumes, it is a good time to check and verify with your references that you can submit their names if a hiring manager asks.
Script Fonts or Visuals
Unless you’re applying for a job in graphic design or some other creative field, keep the format of your resume simple. Don’t use a script font that looks fancy, but is hard to read. Instead, choose something like Calibri or Verdana and make sure the point size is at least 11.
Another item to avoid? Visuals, including a headshot. These are unnecessary and won’t make it through the software if an Applicant Tracking System is scanning resumes.
Keep your hobbies and your family details to yourself. Don’t share information about what you like to do during your time off, your marital status, how many children you have, or any other personal details. Not only should these be avoided on your resume, but it’s actually illegal for employers to ask about these personal details.