November 19, 2015 - Posted to Writing tips
10 Things You Should Never Include on Your Resume
If you know somebody who works in human resources, you may have heard horror stories about the appalling things that people include in their resumes. It would be nice think that outliers and weirdos are the only folks who include cringeworthy things in their resumes. Unfortunately, this isn't true. Otherwise normal job seekers frequently shoot themselves in the foot by including items that should never appear on a resume. Here are 10 of those items for your education and entertainment.
- Height, Weight, Marital Status, Disability Status, Religion...
There are so many reasons why you should never include this information on your resume. First, the acronym TMI comes to mind. Second, when you put this information on a resume, you put your potential employer in an extremely awkward position. You have given them information that they are not supposed to have, according to government regulations. This creates a potentially sticky situation.
- A Wild and Crazy Objective Statement
Do you want to rule the marketing world? Do you want to put a smile on the face of millions with your web design skills? Do you want to get a job as an assistant auditor to turn the company you are applying to into an efficient, money saving machine? Keep it to yourself. Outlandish objective statements don't get callbacks, they just generate eye rolls. In fact, you are better off ditching your objective statement altogether.
- Dubious Achievements
Don't list personal achievements on your resume unless the person reading your resume can draw a direct connection between that achievement and your fitness for the job. For example, if you are 40 years old and applying for a job as a copy writer, leave the fact that you were a state champion wrestler off of your resume. However, if you are a 22 year old applying for a job as a personal trainer, that accomplishment could be a relevant addition to your resume.
- Cutesy Job Titles
Don't modify your previous job titles to make the positions you held seem to be more interesting, prestigious, or to make yourself appear to be clever. If you worked as a high school janitor, take pride in that and claim the job title proudly. Don't write that you were a 'cleanliness ambassador'.
- Embarrassing Email Addresses
Sure, firstname.lastname@example.org seemed cute ten years ago, but when it goes on a resume, it's embarrassing and unprofessional. Create a professional sounding email address using Gmail or other trusted email provider, and use that on your resume instead.
- Irrelevant or Unprofessional Social Media Links
HR staff loves it when you include links to your blog and social media pages, as long as the content on those pages is relevant to your work. So, if you have created a professional, social media persona feel free to include those links in your resume. Just leave off the links to your personal, social media content.
- Excess Keywords
Including relevant keywords is a great idea. It makes your resume easy to discover online, and even increases the chance of your resume being given the thumbs up by resume scanning software. However, when it comes to keywords more is not better. Stuffing keywords into your resume makes it difficult to read.
- “Attention Getting” Elements and Methods of Delivery
Don't cut your resume in the shape of your silhouette. Don't email your resume to a hiring manager by attaching it to an electronic greeting card. Don't embed emoticons into your resume. Don't use bright and colorful fonts to make your resume more exciting. Don't have your resume delivered to the office of human resources at a potential employer with a floral arrangement. These attention getting tactics never have the effect you intend.
- Irrelevant Job History
Unless you are new to the working world, leave off any work history that isn't relevant to the job you are seeking.
- Weird Hobbies
In general, you are better off leaving hobbies and interests off of your resume. However, if you do include them, stick with generic run of the mill interests such as taking walks, cooking, or reading.