Absolutely-Useless Things to Leave Off Your Resume

Published: Feb 06, 2014

Absolutely-Useless Things to Leave Off Your Resume
Febuary 6, 2014
Eight things you should never include on your resume.
By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Expert Resume Writer

Let’s get right to the list so you can fix that resume and start getting job interviews!

1. Dates of employment more than 15 years ago.
Including more than 10 to15 years of work experience is unnecessary. Most recruiters and employers consider only the past 10 years of experience the most relevant when evaluating your candidacy.

2. An objective statement.
In its traditional format, an objective is extremely vague and tells the employer only what you hope to gain. It typically sounds something like this: To use my education and years of experience within an organization that offers growth and advancement opportunities. Extremely vague and useless!

3. Reason for leaving.
The resume is not the time or place to discuss why you left your last position—or why you’re seeking a new one. This is better left for the interview.

4. First- and third-person references.
Resumes are correctly written in implied first-person without the “I” statements. So, leave off any “I, me, and my” references or any “Mr. Smith” did this and that, and just state in an impactful way what you actually did.

5. Personal information.
Marriage status, birth date, social security number—all information that U.S.-based employers do NOT want to see. Leave it off the resume.

6. Photos.
Most job seekers should never put a photo on their resume. HR has been trained by their legal departments for years that this can be a minefield for discrimination and should be avoided. That being said, in some careers it’s OK, and actually expected. Examples could include: entertainment industry (modeling, acting), broadcasting/journalism, real estate, and consulting/self-employment when marketing to potential clients.

7. GPA.
Unless it was a 4.0 and you graduated within the last three years, I wouldn’t bother including it. Most employers won’t look for it or use it as a basis for an interview decision.

8. Responsible for/duties included.
The use of action verbs on your resume is much more effective and impactful. Avoid passive phrases—such as "responsible for" and "duties included"—that sound more like a job description.

Have something you think should never find its way onto a resume? Share it with me!

About the Author

Jessica Hernandez, is a resume authority for the Job Talk America radio program and multi-published expert author for resume, career, and job search publications. She boasts more than ten years in human resources management and hiring for Fortune 500 companies and utilizes her extensive experience to support job seekers in their quest to move onward and upward in their careers. Find out more at Great Resumes Fast.

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