5 Things Not to Include in Your Resume

Nancy Anderson
Posted by

In a 2009 survey, CareerBuilder found that human resource managers receive more than 75 resumes for every open position. Further, 38 percent of employers survey spend only one to two minutes reviewing a resume, meaning simple resume mistakes can knock you out of the running for a job. Although there are many opinions about resume writing and many formats from which to choose, there is a general consensus of five resume mistakes you should avoid.

Typos and Grammatical Errors

Debra Auerbach, author of “10 Things Not to Include When Writing a Resume,” says that even the smallest spelling mistake, typo or grammatical error indicates carelessness and can get your resume rejected. To avoid this resume mistake, use a high-quality grammar and spell check software. After using the software, proofread the resume several times, then ask a friend to read it. Since the software might not detect every error, it's a good idea to involve others in the proofreading process to ensure your resume is completely free of errors.

Listing Your Entire Work History and Responsibilities

In the same article, Auerbach advises against listing every job you have ever held. Instead, focus on the positions, responsibilities, volunteer opportunities and internships that are relevant to the job for which you are applying.

Using Empty Adjectives

In the article “Words to Leave Out of Your Resume,” author Mary Nestor explains that a common resume mistake is to load the positions with adjectives that don’t tell the hiring manager anything about you. Words like “ambitious,” “self-starter” and “people person” do not distinguish you from hundreds of other applicants. To solve this resume writing problem, be specific. Instead of saying that you are dedicated, discuss how you worked 70 hours in one week to implement a new software program that saved the company a certain amount of money during the fiscal year.

Including Your Picture

In this social media age, you may be tempted to include your photo. This is a bad idea, according to Auerbach, because hiring manages fear a discrimination lawsuit if they reject your application. So, unless you are applying for an acting or modeling job, leave your photo off of your resume and cover letter.

Providing Personal Information

A common resume mistake is including personal information that has nothing to do with the job for which you are applying. Since employers are not legally allowed to ask about your age, marital status, religion, race, disability status or political views, you should not provide this information either.

Although there are a lot of factors that come into play when you're looking to land your ideal job, making one of these resumes mistake could instantly disqualify you from consideration. Paying attention to these five resume mistakes should improve your chances of getting that all-important phone call for an interview.


Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    If the date of your degree is greater than 10 years, you really don't have to put it in your resume. However, if you have to complete an application for employment, you aren't going to have a choice but to include it. It is truly unfortunate that companies back door age discrimination that way.

  • ASAD K.
    ASAD K.

    Never mention date of degree obtained?

Jobs to Watch