8 Things to Leave Off Of Your Resume
If it's your first foray into job hunting or if it's been a while since you needed to update your resumé, here is a list of eight things to not include..
Surprise! It used to be standard operating procedure to include an objective on your resume, but those days are long gone.
Instead of wasting valuable space on an objective, turn the tables. Don't tell your perspective employer what you want; rather tell them what you have accomplished. Have you increased sales in your previous job? Do you have experience in a special area? These are the types of things that will get your resume noticed.
Employers need to be very careful about age discrimination, so it's best not to include your age on your resume. Of course, once your walk in for an interview, your age will be generally known. But before that that time, there is no need to disclose it on your resume.
The same holds true with any degrees you may hold. Mentioning the year that you received the degree can make your education seem outdated. So mention the education, not the completion year.
3. Marital or Family Status
It is illegal for a company to discriminate based on a potential employees family situation. However, people's biases can get in the way. This is generally a problem women face more often than a man. But for either gender, there is no need to offer any information on your family status. If you mention that you have children, you may be disregarded because in the back of the interviewer's mind her or she may be wondering who's going to take care of your children when they are sick.
Conversely, if as a woman, you indicate that you have no children, the interviewer might be thinking, "here is someone who's going to take a maternity leave in the next few years." Your marital status and your family status should not be part of the equation.
Unless you're specifically looking for a job with a church or synagogue or other such religious institution, your religious affiliation should be kept to yourself. Period. End of story.
5. Political affiliation.
The same holds true with your political beliefs. Even though it should not have any bearing on whether or not you get a job with the company, there is no reason to risk it. You don't want someone to disregard your resume based strictly on the fact that you are politically incompatible with the hiring manager. Although it shouldn't matter, you'd never know if your resume was trashed based on that piece of information alone. As with the religious affiliation, keep your political beliefs to yourself.
6. Over Explanation of Employment Gaps
With so many people out of work during the recession, it is quite common for people to have a larger than normal unemployment gap. There is no need to bring this to anyone's attention. Rather than listing your resume in a chronological order, you can avoid this problem, by listing your past jobs according to their relevance to the job you're applying for. Not only is that more efficient, it's more practical.
While it may be tempting to show your prospective employer what a versatile and multi talented person you are by including your hobbies, it is not only unnecessary, but it takes up valuable real estate on your resume. Don't clog down your resume with things that just don't matter to anyone besides your mother!
Although this may seem counter intuitive, it may come off as presumptuous to offer references during the first interview. You don't even need to say "references provided upon request", since it's generally understood that you'll be asked to provide them, should you get that far in the hiring process. Again, save the space on your resume for what really matters.
With these tips of "not to do's" you should be able to cut the fluff and present a crisp clean relevant resume to your prospective employer.