Your resume might be one of the most important documents you will ever create. And for this reason, many hire a professional to do the work for them. Which is not a bad idea, but if you would prefer to create your own resume, there are definitely some dos and don’ts. As someone who works in Human Resources, I often see resumes that could use a lot of work. These people could turn out to be really great employees, but because of issues with their resumes, they never get the chance. A first look at your resume is all that an employer is going to see. Well, to start anyway. So make it look good.
As far as dos go, those are pretty obvious. Include your education, relevant experience and certifications. What is not obvious are the things you shouldn’t do. For this reason, we are here to help. Check out this list of things that you should not include on your resume and we will tell you why.
Objective or Summary
This used to be the norm. You wanted to include something to tell your prospective employer why you want the job. But that’s not the case any more. It always felt forced and a bit redundant, in my opinion. If you’re applying for a position, your potential employer already knows that you want the job. And most will skip over your objective. The only time you will want to include a summary is when you’re changing industries.
Irrelevant or Ancient Job Experience
Time gaps on a resume can raise a red flat to employers. But you also don’t have to list every job you have had from the time you were 16, unless of course, you’re only 18 now. What do you do if you have been in the workforce for decades and have a ton of experience? Forbes offers this advice:
“In general, your most recent jobs are more important in your resume than your long-ago jobs are. If you can fit your most recent six jobs on your two-page resume, then your seventh-most-recent and earlier jobs will drop off.”
Photographs or Pictures
I see this a lot for some reason. And, if you’re applying for a modeling job, then sure, a photograph is expected. But if you’re applying to work as a manager or administrative assistant, a photography isn’t necessary. You might think that it enhances your resume, but it doesn’t. Keep your resume clean and save your photos for your portfolio.
Hobbies or Interests
Honestly, no one cares. I’m not saying that to be harsh, but a hiring manager isn’t going to care that you spend your free time reading Harry Potter books, unless you’re applying to work in a library. So if it’s not relevant to the position you’re applying to, leave it off.
References or Lines Referring to Them
In the past, you may have been told to include references on your resume. Or you might have been told to include a like like “references available upon request”. But you don’t need to include either. If an employer wants you, they will ask for references. This will give you the opportunity to contact your references first.
Personal or Private Information
Things like your age, race, gender, religion or marital status have no place on your resume. And if your employer is looking for that kind of information, something is not right. Calling you in for an interview should be based on your skills, knowledge and experience. Not what race you might be. This could go in either direction, but over all it’s not a good thing to include.
College Graduation Dates
Unless you are a recent college graduate entering the workforce, do not include your graduation dates. The fact that you have a degree is all that matters, and not necessarily when you earned it. Plus, this can give away your age, which is not a good thing on a resume. Employers can weed you out if they think you’re too old for a job. Or too young with not enough experience.
A few more things to consider when creating a resume.
- Don’t lie. Additional explanation on this one isn’t required. Just don’t lie. It won’t get you anywhere. Maybe a foot in the door, but after that, you’re on your own.
- Make it look nice. Create a nice looking resume that will stand out. There are many templates out there to choose from. Don’t think outside the box too much on this one.
- Check your spelling and grammar! There’s nothing worse than a resume with a bunch of misspelled words, or poor grammar. Get a friend to check it over for you if you’re not sure.
Some pf these tips are obvious and some are not. If you’re just starting out in creating a resume, these tips can help. If you’re working on your resume because you’re looking to switch jobs, these tips will help also. The bottom line is that you want the resume to reflect you, and also be professional looking. Good luck!