There are items that should be on your resume, but there are some pretty straightforward don’ts, too. Most of the reasons for keeping things off your resume is because they're dated, inappropriate, or taking up valuable space (Remember your resume should be as few pages as possible. Definitely no more than two.)
So let’s start from the top with contact information.
· Remove your address. Your phone number and email provide an employer with all the options they need to contact you. Very few companies communicate with potential hires by mail.
· Ridiculous or inappropriate emails. Handles like wasted420 or partygurl could be the thing that gets you rejected. Set up a professional email with just your name and use that one.
· Photos. Unless you’re a model or an actor, there’s no reason for a photo. Too much space, isn’t likely to look good, and is unprofessional. Leave the photo for your LinkedIn profile.
· Objectives. They are so 1990s and rarely offer any valuable information.
· Too basic skills. It’s the 21st century so employers will know that you know how to use email, the internet, or even if you have computer skills or Microsoft Office skills. Unless a basic skill is specified in the job posting, leave it off your resume. Stick with more specialized skills.
· Irrelevant work experience or skills. Remember that resume is valuable real estate. Include only work experience from the last ten years and skills that pertain directly to the job. I know you’re proud of that first job when you were a cashier, but you’re applying for an IT job. Maybe you have production skills but if using a forklift isn’t necessary to the job to which you’re applying, leave it off.
· Too much educational information. I get it. You’ve worked hard on all your education. Me, too. Listing your most recent degree is acceptable but listing every class, workshop, or seminar you’ve attended is not. Unless it pertains directly to the job or the job posting requires education/certification in a specific area, save the space.
· Hobbies and volunteer work. Real estate, folks. Less is more. Marathon running is an awesome hobby but unless you’re a fitness trainer, the hiring manager doesn’t care. The same for volunteer work. As it is for everything else, only list it if pertains to the job and you lack actual work experience to account for the skill. (The exception to the rule is someone that lacks paid work experience. Then you want to talk about volunteer work)
· “References Available Upon Request”. Like objectives, this just dates your resume and isn’t necessary.
· Lies and exaggerations. This should go without saying but people do it….a lot according to hiring managers. Many of these managers do go through the work of verifying information on your resume if they are really interested in you. Catching you in a lie will put your resume straight into the “NO” pile, no matter how qualified you are.
Now that you’ve read this, go clean up that resume. Of course, if you need more help or want someone to inspect your resume and give suggestions, you can also contact your local career center. It’s what we’re here for!