4 Things to Make Sure You Don't Include on Your Resume


A resume is your first impression. When a recruiter or hiring manager is scanning it, you want them to be able to immediately understand your strengths, experiences and why you’re the right fit for the open position.

Not only does your resume have to do the talking for you at this stage of the recruitment process, it also needs to bypass any ATS programs. So, if you’re in the middle of a job hunt or just starting to poke around job boards, give your resume a review with a discerning eye. Then, next time you go to hit “apply”, scan it quickly to ensure that it really is encompassing what you would bring to the role.

Stumped on what could make a resume bad? Here are a few things to try to avoid:

Irrelevant Information

Sending out the same resume to every job is tempting in its simplicity, but just like you should tailor your cover letter, your resume should be tweaked for different types of roles. This doesn’t mean each individual application needs its own version. Instead, you can categorize the types of jobs you're applying to and create different versions for each.

For example, if you’re looking at both management and non-management roles in your industry, have a resume for each. The former should include your management experience, whereas the other can focus more on your hard skills in the industry. Applying to a non-management position and including a whole bunch of information on your management experience and skills is taking away valuable space you could be using to show off skills that are more relevant to the open position.


Many recruiters see objective statements as outdated. Save this statement for your cover letter where you have ample room to tell a potential employer about why you’re applying to their company.

On a resume, it’s taking up valuable space at the very top of the page which could be used to highlight core skills or as an additional line or two to describe accomplishments at your current job.

Layoffs and Firings

Your resume isn’t the time to go into detail about why you were let go, fired or decided to leave a previous position. That is a conversation for an interview, so it doesn’t need to be stated on your resume.

Listing the dates of employment can clue someone into a layoff, but there are ways to disguise it. Try using months or years instead of specific dates of employment. For example, if you were employed for 10 years in your last role, you could list 2010-2020. Then if your next role starts in 2020, you can put 2020-present.

But do be prepared to discuss a gap in employment if you make it to the interview stage.

(Very) Old Jobs

Including jobs from many years ago likely isn’t going to help make your case for employment now. Even if you’re a recent college graduate, listing part-time high school employment isn’t always necessary, especially if it’s not closely related to your desired field.

Instead, include professional experiences (this includes internships!) that showcase skills related to the job and field you want to work in. Don’t feel the need to clutter your resume just so it appears longer or that you have more work experience. Remember: quality over quantity.

So, next time you’re thinking about applying for a job you’re interested in, review your resume and make sure that it showcases why you’re worth calling for an interview. Recruiters can tell when a resume hasn’t been slightly tailored for the role, so take the opportunity to grab their attention with a well-written resume that’s absent of the above.

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