Things to Leave Off Your Resume to Land You the Job.
Things to Leave: Some things simply don’t belong on your resume. Including them can get your resume knocked out of consideration for a job before it gets a thorough review.
Employers take precious little time to scan candidates’ resumes, so you want to make sure that all the information they need is easily available and not lost in the irrelevant filler. I advise you to keep reading to see if there is any information that is best left out.
These are Things to Leave Off Your Resume
There are some things that should not be included on a resume. Leave them off, and keep your resume sharply poised on the skills and qualifications relevant for the job for which you’re applying for.
1. Exclude References
Don’t waste real estate by writing implied information on your resume such as contact info for references, or “references available upon request,” says Scott Vedder, a Fortune 100 recruiter and author of Signs of a Great Resume.
“You don’t write ‘interviews available upon request,’ so why would you write ‘references upon request’?” Hiring managers know you have references and will ask for them at the appropriate time.
2. Outdated Tech
The preferred software and technology used in the workplace can change rapidly, but it’s important to stay on top of it nonetheless. Otherwise, you risk looking like you’re unable to keep up in a dynamic workplace.
“Companies are looking for sophisticated, flexible professionals who understand technology. By including technology that’s outdated in the skills section of your resume, it gives employers the impression that your skillset is stale and that you will have a much steeper learning curve,” Riccio says. “In a competitive market, employers want to invest people who have demonstrated an ability to learn quickly.”
So leave off things like coding languages that are no longer widely in use, outdated versions of modern software programs, and other irrelevant technology.
3. Irrelevant or Joke Skills
This may sound obvious, but there truly are people who still list things like “expert-level guacamole maker” or “certified ping-pong champ” on their resume.
“Do not include skills that are irrelevant to the job you are applying for. I know I am amazingly proud that I make the best ‘award-winning’ cookies, but I’m in HR — I do not put that on my resume!” Warriner says.
Sure, there probably are a few recruiters and hiring managers out there who will find it funny or charming. But when you’re applying to a job, you don’t know who will appreciate that and who won’t — so it’s better to err on the side of professionalism.
4. An Unprofessional or Outdated Email Address
Your resume is your first opportunity to present yourself to an employer as a professional, so you better have a professional email address.
5. Put Your Resume to the Test
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your resume is not getting it reviewed when you’re done writing it. Having a resume is no use to you unless it’s working in your favor by properly highlighting your skills and the value you’d bring to a company.
6. Your Home Address
Due to privacy issues and the potential for identity theft, if your resume somehow ends up in the wrong person’s hands, Enelow doesn’t recommend including your home address on your resume.
If you’re applying for a local job, however, she advises including your city and state on your resume to show that you’re a local candidate. But it’s OK to leave off your location completely when applying for an out-of-town job so that you don’t inadvertently exclude yourself from consideration for the position.
7. Soft Skills in a Skills Section
If you’re going to have a skills section on your resume, it should be focused on hard skills and competencies—not soft skills, says Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, executive resume writer and owner of Dallas-based coaching firm Career Trend.
“Soft skills are important, but I would weave them into the work experience portion,” Barrett-Poindexter says. So where can you really lean into your soft skills? Your cover letter.
8. Jobs You Had More Than 10 Years Ago
For one thing, this can give away your age, which we’ve already mentioned is a bad idea. But more importantly, the skills you had at a job more than 10 years ago are going to seem dated and not very useful to an employer today.
Depending on the job, those skills may be perfectly useful (ditch digging hasn’t changed much in the last decade), but even so, an employer is not likely to be interested in a job you had that long ago. It can also make it seem like you’re padding your résumé because you didn’t have enough good experience in recent years.
If the job you had more than 10 years ago was really, extraordinarily important, special, or impressive, then you should definitely include it. For all the astronauts and four-star generals reading this, that means you.
What do Employers Do want in a Resume?
What do employers want? According to CSN research, here’s what employers want to see when they receive resumes:
- Customized for their open position: 61%
- Accompanied by a cover letter: 49%
- Addressed to the hiring manager or recruiter by name: 26%
- Links to the applicant’s online portfolio, blog, or website: 21%
Are you following these resume writing rules? Do you have anything regarding things to leave off your resume to also share? I’ll love to hear your feedback at the comment section, you can also reach out to your friends on social media to share this page with them.
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