Don't Put That on Your Resume! 5 Things to Avoid

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When you're looking for a new job, your resume is crucial. By now, you should know that in order to stand out from the pool of applicants and actually manage to have your resume read, you need to give it a face lift. This means that long (more than 2 pages) resumes and documents that are overly personalized with crazy fonts and backgrounds are a thing of the past. These days, your resume has to present a streamlined picture of who you are as an employee. Today's resume is much more of a marketing tool than it is a biography of your professional life.


That being said, here are 5 more things you shouldn't put on your resume:


Unrelated Job Experience: If you have been working in a specific industry for some time, there is no need to include any job experience that isn't relevant. If you've changed your career field recently, include your most recent employment, then all of your related jobs. If you don't have much to list, you can add your last job before you changed careers. Anything more than that is simply too much information. A prospective employer doesn't want or need to know about the part time job you had 2 years ago - unless it's relevant to the job you're applying for.


Non-Professional Achievements: When listing any awards or achievements on your resume, be sure that they are professional awards or career achievements. It's also important to only add achievements that are actually things you earned. For example, being in the Homecoming Court at your college or belonging to a fraternity or sorority aren't achievements. While they are interesting and are likely to be things that you're proud of, they don't have a place on your resume.


Physical Descriptions or Photos: When you are using professional networking and career sites, like Nexxt, you will probably want to upload a professional looking headshot on your profile. Aside from that, you should never add a photo to your resume or mention your physical characteristics. A hiring manager doesn't want to know that you spend hours in the gym or that you have long, flowing hair. When it comes to your job search, always keep things professional.


Odd Hobbies: As a general rule, you shouldn't list any odd hobbies you have on your resume. In fact, I don't think that it's necessary to list your hobbies at all. However, if you think you should or if you're asked about them during an interview, stick to the more mundane ones like camping or reading. Hobbies like being a part-time clown or magician are typically things you shouldn't share. However, if you research the company you are applying to and examine their corporate culture, you may find your odd hobby is relevant. For example, if you were applying to a company that sells magic supplies or Halloween costumes, your hobby could make you stand out. Whatever your situation is, use your best judgment and ask yourself if the information helps or hurts.


Things That Should Be Private: Things like age, gender, sexual orientation, religion and race are all things that employers shouldn't know just by reading your resume. In fact, employers are legally prohibited from asking about them, so you shouldn't include them on your resume. Some people believe that if they are white, male, Christian and straight, they don't need the protection from discrimination and will include this information, believing that it will actually help them. This couldn't be further from the truth. Most of the time, those resumes will be tossed out to prevent any sort of hiring bias.


Your resume is just like a commercial. When an employer looks at it, they should be able to skim over it and see why you are the right person for the job. If you clutter it up with unimportant information or make it difficult for them to see why they should hire you, you only lessen your chances at getting an interview and a job. As with anything, there are exceptions, but if it doesn't sell you, it shouldn't be on your resume.


What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Source:; Image source: MorgueFile


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  • Dimitri Novitzky
    Dimitri Novitzky

    The answer may be a yes or a not, all depends on the job

  • Louis Alfredo
    Louis Alfredo
    Thanks for your tips and followed when writing CV for getting professional CV in his challenging world. So took some professional writer help for it.
    I think that this was very      good information concerning how your resume should not look.
  • Valerie F
    Valerie F
    This article was amazing. now i need someone to help me get my resume together. keep giving more good tips.
  • Melissa Kennedy
    Melissa Kennedy
    Wow! What a great conversation. I see that many people have mentioned that when you apply online, you often have to give the year you graduated high school or your racial background. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do about these types of applications. You can opt to not apply to those jobs, but for most people, it's just not possible. The one thing you can control, however, is what information you send them by way of your resume.
  • CharleneM
    Excellent info.  Thank you!!
  • Matthew V
    Matthew V
    This article is very helpful. I'm glad I read it before revising my resume. thank you.
  • Mike W
    Mike W
    Of the 5 listed, the first one is the only one that is not obvious. Where the fine line comes in is when a person has been unemployed for a long period and is doing a unrelated job to their career "just to keep any money coming in" What then. I am in this situation and would LOVE some actual advice on that. Based on what you are saying is that unrelated job info is a no no but there is no note as to long gaps in work experience. That would be a GREAT follow up article.
  • Ruth O
    Ruth O
    Thanks, for the info.
  • Siria G
    Siria G
    Great advise, I am taking all of these into consideration.
  • James W
    James W
    Well written.
  • Gwendolyn M
    Gwendolyn M
    Very informative as to what should and should not be on a resume.
  • Leonora C
    Leonora C
    it helps a lot by your career articles.
  • Sylvia K
    Sylvia K
    thank you,thats true and straight to the point.its very helpful
  • Allison M
    Allison M
    Great information, very helpful!!!Thank You!
  • Naudra L
    Naudra L
    Very Good information to keep in mind
  • Susan G
    Susan G
    Feedback I have received from companies that scan your digital resume is that they want ALL the details--the longer the resume, the better.  Applicants need to know if a person or a computer is likely to see their resume first.  If a computer, it won't go any farther unless enough of the key words appear.
  • Lenora W
    Lenora W
    Great information and very direct. Thank you
  • mariam k
    mariam k
    helpful alot actually being i have never had to write a resume,i had listed all the 5 mistakes thinkig that i was good to go so now am to zero ideas
  • Randy B
    Randy B
    Thank you, The information in this, (What not to include in your Resume), I needed to remove some information & include others.
  • Toya B
    Toya B
    Absolutely. True.
  • Leland M
    Leland M
    Great points.  How about for the seasoned professional who wants to continue in the same career path.  However it's an employers market with hundreds of choices.  How do you make your resume stand out/alone.
  • J Morris
    J Morris
    Thanks for the info. Very helpful and I agree totally with your advice.
  • Sean M
    Sean M
    I thought that you made very vaild points and I agree with this article
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