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Never Include These 10 Things In Your Resume

Updated: Mar 28

writing a good resume with skills you should include with the help of career coach for moms Julie Shore in Harrisburg, Carlisle

When you're writing a good resume - every line counts! That means that you shouldn't be wasting space on things that are irrelevant or hurt your chances of getting an interview.

Here are a few things you shouldn't waste precious resume space on:

1. Martial Status

Are you single, divorced, or married? Doesn't matter!

Your marital status has no place on a quality resume. Resumes should reflect your skills, not your relationship status.

2. Pictures

What a waste of space! Pictures shouldn't be included on your resume because they take room away from your skills and accomplishment statements. Employers don't look at your resume to see a picture, they want to see your skills.

There are very few reasons that you would ever consider adding a picture to your resume. In the majority of cases, keep pictures of yourself and your work in your portfolio and your LinkedIn.

3. "References available upon request"

This statement is outdated and should no longer be included in your resume. Hiring managers know that they can reach out for references if they need to. Repeating the obvious is only wasting your own space.

References used to be included in resumes, so if you're recently updating your resume, be sure to cut this section out.

4. Religious Affiliation

Employers don't need to know your religious background. Avoid including overt declarations of your religious commitments. Omitting your religious beliefs will help mitigate bias in the hiring process.

However - if you've worked, or volunteered for a religious institution in the past - you shouldn't hide that on your resume.

Listing your involvement in a religious community is fine for your resume. Here's why:

  1. It may reflect your interest in volunteer work.

  2. It may be an essential part of your network.

  3. It may show your ability to balance outside commitments with work.

5. Hobbies and interests

I'm happy to hear about your love for rock climbing - just not on your resume! Save your personal interests for personal conversations where you are trying to build rapport.

Whether you're networking or in an interview, having something interesting to say is always a helpful tool. However - your hobbies have no place on a quality resume.

6. Graduation Date

If you haven't graduated in the last two years, don't list your graduation date. If you graduated less than two years ago, you should include your graduation date so employers are aware that you're new to the job market.

Otherwise, you should just list your education and alma mater.

Omitting your graduation date will help you appear more seasoned than you would if your graduation date was listed. Without your graduation date, employers will focus on your experience more than your age.

7. Passive language

Every line under the "experience" section of your resume should start with an action verb! Avoid passive language and be sure to write in the correct tense. If your position is in the past, change the action verbs to the past tense.

Bad Example:

I write documents that go out to journalists.

Instead, do this:

Drafted press releases.

Use this list of action verbs to update your resume!

8. Typos and spelling errors

Whether you like it or not, a single typo can stop you from landing an interview. It's frustrating, but it's true. Employers see typos on a resume as a sign of sloppiness, and they reflect poorly on your ability to pay attention to detail.

Recently, there has been a shift in opinion on the practice of eliminating a resume solely based on a typo. Blog posts continue to come out critiquing the practice for unfairly removing potentially qualified candidates. Regardless, you should be sure to lock down all grammatical errors to ensure that you are taken seriously.

9. Company-specific jargon

Employers should be able to understand everything on your resume. When writing your CV, it should be accessible and easy-to-read. If your company has specific jargon for your role or responsibilities, be sure to translate them to industry-specific language.

Industry-specific language, as opposed to company-specific, can be a helpful tool on your resume if leveraged correctly. Showing your employer that you understand and engage with your industry is important - just don't go overboard.

10. Short-term roles

Unless the experience you gained from a position is too good to omit, you should only list roles that you've stayed in for at least three months. Short-term roles raise questions. Employers may wonder why you only stayed for a few weeks and become suspicious of a pervious termination.

This is not the case for work that is clearly seasonal. But again, only list roles on your resume that make sense for you to include. You shouldn't have irrelevant seasonal work taking space away form more relevant experiences.

Still want help?

If you are struggling to produce a concise resume that catches recruiters' attention - consider scheduling a feedback session with me to get some resume writing tips.

If you're not getting any interviews - it may be because of your resume.

If you are getting the interview but not getting the job - it could be that you're not selling yourself in the interview.

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