If you want to be part of the 2% of candidates who get interviewed, you need to have a solid résumé. In addition to the step-by-step guide on how to write a résumé, I’m providing you a list of things you should never put on your résumé to help you stand out of the crowd and increase your chances of getting that interview!
20 things you should never put on your résumé
- Title: You shouldn’t put a title on the top of your résumé. Do not type “Résumé,” “CV,” “Curriculum vitae” as a title.
- Jargon: Do not use jargon or colloquial language. The language should be impeccable and as much as possible simple and without bombastic words.
- Errors: Make sure your résumé has no typos, grammar goofs or factual errors (like getting a company’s name wrong)
- Abbreviations: Do not use any abbreviations or acronyms, as these can be very confusing and distracting. You should always use the expanded forms.
- Narrative Style: Don’t use too much text. As much as possible, use bullet points that are easily scannable, so you could convey more with less verbosity.
- Photograph: Don’t attach photograph, unless specifically requested.
- References: Don’t mention your references contact information. This information is relevant only after an offer has been made.
- Age: Don’t mention your age or date of birth. Employers need to know what you can do for them, not how many years you’ve managed to stay alive.
- Negative Stories: Don’t provide explanations of anything negative. Even if you have dark stories in your past, there’s no place for them on your résumé. Your résumé is a promotional document that needs to be positive. The time to explain yourself is when you’re talking to somebody in person after you’ve scored an interview.
- Personal Details: Don’t provide personal details (e.g., marital status, race, sexual orientation), unless they are somehow differentiators for the job.
- Header: Don’t put any relevant information in the header of your résumé. If your résumé file is processed automatically, the software might not be able to read it.
- High School: Don’t include high school, unless you did not attend college
- Formatting Inconsistency: The format of your résumé is as important as its content. Use the same format throughout the entire résumé.
- I: Don’t use personal pronouns. It’s obvious that everything on your résumé is about you and your experiences.
- Tense: Don’t use present tense to describe past work experience. Only your current job should be described in the present tense.
- Empty labels: Don’t use useless labels such as “name,” “phone,” “e-mail,” etc.
- Unprofessional email address: 76% of résumés are discarded due to use of an unprofessional email address. No more comment!
- Salary: This information is completely unnecessary in your résumé. Salary comes later in the interview process.
- Business contact information: If you’re currently employed, don’t use your business contact information; otherwise, you might get a call or an email at your current place of employment by your prospective employer. Use your personal contact information instead.
- Inaccurate information: Don’t lye or “inflate” your achievements, qualifications, or skills. Most of the recruiters would run a background check up before finalizing an offer. In such case, you might be embarrassed and loose a good offer.
Your résumé should help potential employers to quickly learn about you and how you can help their organization. Don’t waste this opportunity with unnecessary information.
Hopefully the provided list of things you should never put on your résumé will help you to keep it accurate and clear, and ultimately increase your chances of getting to the next round of interviews.
What other résumé don’ts would you recommend? Please share your comment below with Nextal community.