10 Things NEVER to Include on Your Resume

As a job seeker, your resume may be the most important document you need. After all, your resume serves as your calling card entrée to the world of prospective employers. It should represent your experience and capabilities. Candidates should take time to create resumes that highlight skills related to the job for which they are applying. A "catchall" resume can be a mistake. Additionally, including irrelevant, inappropriate or just plain silly information can disqualify a candidate from further consideration immediately. Review the suggestions below, refrain from making the following resume mistakes and put your best foot forward knowing your first impression will be a lasting one …. in a positive way! – Julie

  • A crazy objective - Outlandish, overconfident, or "out there" objective statements almost always ensure that the rest of your resume isn't read. Do your best to relate it to the position to which you are applying.
  • Irrelevant job experience - While you want to minimize time gaps or “holes” on your resume you should be selective about utilizing the “white space” and ensure that you are highlighting the most relevant experience.
  • Achievements that aren’t achievements - Stick to professional, academic and community service awards only – avoid including “TMI” or personal achievements unless they fit appropriately within your “Personal Interests” (i.e. Ran Marine Corps Marathon 2011, 2010, 2009 – Personal Best Time 2011.)
  • Physical characteristics - Don’t describe your physical attributes and leave off pictures/photos.
  • Strange hobbies - It's fine to include a hobby or interest or two. This is a great way to show diversity in your background and often serve as great icebreakers during interviews -- just choose carefully what you disclose.
  • Private matters - Marital status, age, whether you have children, sexual orientation, religion and political affiliations should not be included on your resume. Avoid these subjects in the context of an interview, too.
  • Bad grammar and obscure words - Your resume is your first impression of your capabilities. Spellcheck, grammar check, details, details, details! Don’t overstate your skills or use words to describe yourself that require the reader to pull out a dictionary. Chances are good they will become disinterested and move on to the next candidate.
  • Unprofessional contact information - Use a professional email address and make certain that the voicemail on your phone represents the “you” that you will be when you get hired. Email addresses are free and most accounts allow you to get several, so either get a new, professional address or delete it from your resume.
  • Personal information - Your resume is no place for your social security number or other sensitive information. There's no guarantee that your resume will be kept in a safe, secure place, even when submitted electronically so don't include anything that could be stolen or used in identity theft.
  • Attention-getting tactics - Keep your resume traditional – minimize the use of colored paper, exaggerated font, perfume, glitter, etc. White, cream or grey paper – keep it simple.
  • First impressions count - “You get one chance to make a first impression.” You can ensure your resume gives a good first impression by knowing not only what to include, but also what not to include.

Good luck in your job search!