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What Not To Include In A Resume

Is My Rsum Being Read

What to include, and not include on your resume

Over 427,000 résumés are posted to each weekthats just one job website. Most companies use Applicant Tracking Software to automatically filter and eliminate 75% of the résumés sent to them. If your resume makes it to the desk of a hiring manager and recruiter, they will spend an average of just 5-7 seconds reading it.

Seconds. Thats all you get. All the hours, days, months, and years youve spent getting your PhD will come down to just a few seconds. Think of how hard youve worked to get to where you are. Are you really going to throw it all away by not taking the time to get your résumé just right?

Lying Or Misleading Information

Recruiters can spot information that does not stack up. For example, they are always on the lookout for inflated:

  • Qualifications
  • Job titles
  • Achievements

Employers are conducting increasingly vigorous background checks on candidates. This can range from on you to employing a specialist candidate checking service. Something that you think is just bending the truth could really trip you up.

Unprofessional Email Addresses And Social Media Urls

Unless, of course, youre applying for a role in social media in that case, your excellent Instagram might be evidence of your industry chops.

On the other hand, feel free to include relevant URLs, such as or links to a professional online portfolio. Again, anything you include on your resume should be directly related to the job youre applying for.

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What Not To Include In A Resume

Use your common sense when writing your resume. If you have been employed for many years and your career has evolved over time, knowing how to write a resume well means you will not include every role youve ever held, such as the casual retail position you had in high school or the captaincy of your social sporting team. Rather, use the limited space on your resume strategically by ensuring every line shows how you are relevant to the particular job youre applying for.

Similarly, if you have an advanced degree, few people are going to be concerned about the exams you took when you were 16 years old. Instead, only include training that is relevant to the position you are applying for.

Unless otherwise stated, you dont need to attach copies of certificates, qualifications or references. You should instead bring these to a job interview.

We also advise candidates to avoid listing their hobbies or interests. Focus instead on the experience and skills that make you suitable for the job youre applying for. The exceptions occur when you have limited relevant experience or if the employer specifically asks applicants to list hobbies. In these cases, keep it brief. Avoid anything that could be contentious, such as political affiliations, and instead show how your personality is suited to that of the organisation. For example, consider listing a hobby that requires expertise relevant to the role, such as organisational or communication skills.

Spelling Or Grammar Mistakes

What NOT To Put On A Resume: 10 Things You Can To Leave Off

Proofread and spellcheck everything.

You are very unlikely to get called for an interview if you have a spelling or grammar mistake on your resume and nobodys going to tell you either.

So you need to find it yourself, or have a friend proofread it carefully for you!

Heres a little trick if you proofread it yourself: temporarily change your resume to an unusual font before proofreading. It will help you spot errors .

Now youve hopefully gotten answers to your questions about what should a resume include, and youve seen the top things to leave off as well.

Theres one final step, though, thats going to get you far more interviews from all of this

Also Check: Resume On Word Document

Irrelevant Experience And Skills

A great resume is customized for the job to which youre applying. However, removing years of irrelevant experience can cause work history gaps. And so the key becomes finding ways to connect your experience to the job. Its best if you can do this with relevant hard skills and keywords. Here are some blog posts that can help:

What Startups Are Looking For In Your Resume

A resumes main goal is to show all youve achieved in your past roles. But just as all jobs are not created equal, it only makes sense that a generic resume will not work for every position. Case in point? Startups. If youre interested in getting into a company on the ground floor, the first step is to toss everything you think you know about resumes out the window. Read on for what to include instead to make startups stand up and take notice of you.

Focus on results

Traditional resumes often have your previous job titles listed, as well as a list of responsibilities you had in that role. But startups care less about the duties you had and more about the results you created. How did your work contribute to the completion of a goal? If you can somehow manage to show these results via numbers , even better. Startup owners want to know how you can help their company grow, so any tangible results you can provide helps them envision the goals you can help them reach.

Include links

If you have something visual to offer, make sure its on display. VisualCV recommends linking to a portfolio page for each company youve worked for in the past. This often leads to a potential employer clicking on the links, thus extending the amount of time they spend on your resumewhich leaves you at the forefront of their minds.

Dont just pitch yourself

Take culture into consideration

Include testimonials

Demonstrate that can-do spirit

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Typos Errors Goofs Of All Sorts

Make sure your resume is free of all goofs like typos, misspellings, grammatical mistakes, or factual errors. Thats just embarrassing.

Your resume is the first impression employers will get of your writing skills and how close you pay attention to detail. Dont set yourself up for disappointment.

Use editing software to check for obvious errors. After that, read your resume from bottom to top to give yourself a new perspective youd be surprised how easy it is to miss the same mistake after reading the same document ten times.

Your brain automatically fixes the mistake without really perceiving it. Approaching the resume in a different order makes those mistakes pop out more readily.

Finally, we recommend having a trusted confidante look over your resume. They may catch mistakes that you missed or can tell you that theyre confused by a certain element that you thought made perfect sense. A second set of eyes is truly invaluable.

Should You Include Internships On Your Resume

What Not To Include On Your Resume

If you just graduated, chances are that an internship is the only relevant experience you have. So, definitely mention it in your resume.

If you have already worked for a few years, though, you can completely get rid of internships from your resume.

There are some exceptions to this rule, though. For example, if you did an internship at CERN , you would be better off keeping it.

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A Resume Summary Statement

Your resume summary is another great way to quickly let recruiters know who you are. If a recruiter only has time to read one thing, assume it will be your headline and summary statement, and impress them accordingly.

You can think of your resume summary statement as an elevator pitch. Include a summary of your work history, skills and most remarkable accomplishments.

Note: A resume summary statement may not be the best choice for your resume if you dont have a lot of work history or relevant experience.

Find out more:How to Write a Resume Summary Statement

Unnecessary Information About Previous Employers

Theres no need to include your previous employers exactaddress. You also dont need to disclose the exact date you joined or left thecompany.

While this information isnt exactly career-ending words youshouldn’t use in a resume, it’s a waste of space. A recruiter doesnt needto know this information to gauge if you’ve got the skills they need.

Whatever you do, never disclose your reason for leaving a companybecause the recruiter might get the wrong impression about you. Its better toleave this discussion for the interview.

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How Often Should I Update My Cv

Even if you arent actively looking for a new role, its important to get into the habit of regularly updating your CV. So, for example, if youve learnt a new skill or successfully completed a big project in your current role, update your resume to reflect that. Its also a good idea to update your LinkedIn profile at the same time.

If you keep your resume up-to-date, when you do come to the point when you want to find a new position, theres no risk that youll forget key points.

Regularly updating your resume can also make you more aware of any skills or experience gaps that you need to fill to take the next step in your career.

What To Put On A Resume If You Have No Work Experience

What not to include in your resume

Now, if you just graduated and have absolutely no work experience, heres what I recommend

However, if you have absolutely no work experience, heres what to put on your resume

Were going to follow the sections outlined above, but move #5 up to #3 so it will be right below your Summary section.

So it will look like this

Read Also: Is My Perfect Resume Legit

Illustrate Your Skills With Infographics

Infographics can be an amazing way to visually communicate with your audience, and this is why they’re so popular in resume design. Easily illustrate your strong points with imagery.

Remember, your resume should be about what you can do, not what you can’t. Just because this is image based doesn’t mean our resume best practices don’t still apply.

Reasons You Left A Company Or Position

Candidates often think, “If I explain why I left the position on my résumé, maybe my chances will improve.”

“Wrong,” Nicolai says. “Listing why you left is irrelevant on your résumé. It’s not the time or place to bring up transitions from one company to the next.”

Use your interview to address this.

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Unrelated Or Obsolete Skills And Experience

You don’t need to list every job you have held on your resume. Generally, you only want to include positions you’ve had in the past 10 to 15 years unless an earlier job strongly demonstrates your qualifications. Leave out any positions that are unrelated to the job for which you are applying unless this will leave gaps on your resume.

However, if you have limited job experience, you can include slightly unrelated positions as long as you demonstrate how they prepared you for a job in your new field. For example, if you are applying for a sales job, you can include your earlier job as a cashier if you explain that the job helped you develop your customer service skills.

Make sure all the skills and attributes you list on your resume are current. If you list skills that are obsolete or not relevant to the position, it won’t help you get an interview. Review this list of skills to exclude from your resume.

Outdated Or Irrelevant Social Media Profiles

What Not to Include in a Resume

Do not include on your resume social media accounts that host unprofessional content, do not support your current job goals, and are not regularly updated. If you’re going to include the URL to a social media account on your resume, make sure it reflects your personal brand and serves to demonstrate why you’re qualified for the job.

In addition, create at least one professional online profile on sites like LinkedIn or GitHub and include the link at the top of your resume. If you work in a creative field, consider creating an online portfolio or blog that has a mobile-responsive design so employers can access your site from any device.


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Things Not To Include On Your Resume

Apart from the cardinal sin of clichés , there are a few general no-nos to resume-writing. Make sure not to let any of the following sneak into your resume and youll never be laughed out of the maybe pile.

1. Typos and mistakes

Check your spelling, punctuation, formatting, and especially grammar.

2. An overly casual tone

The time to be cool is at happy hour, once you have the job! Keep your resume 100% professional.

3. Clichés

We said it once. Well say it again. Find a new, fresh way to express that youre a team player or a hard worker without resorting to tired, meaningless language.

4. Multiple pages

Stick to one. Clean and simple. Remember, hiring managers dont have a lot of time. Theyll appreciate the effort you make to keep things short and sweet.

5. Fancy formatting

Just say no to background colors, borders, graphics, hearts, or happy faces. Keep it clean.

6. Third person

Keep things in the first person. My responsibilities included, I managed, etc.

7. Emojis

Seriously. Just dont.

8. Saying stupid things about yourself

Dont give a hiring manager any material to joke about in the coffee room. Make sure you have someone read through your resume before sending it out, just so you make sure you dont say anything cringeworthy.

9. A juvenile email address

10. A loony font

Dont use comic sans just to be original. Dont use script. Dont use anything fun. Pick a totally boring and professional font if you want your resume to actually get read.

How To Write A Good Resume

Your resume must clearly, concisely and strategically present your qualifications to get a recruiter interested in meeting you. It should convey your skills, work experience and assets. The resume is used to describe what you can accomplish professionally in a manner that also illustrates what you can do for an employer. Job opportunities can arise unexpectedly. An updated modern resume is the key to a successful job search. Here are some do’s and don’ts of how to write a good resume and what to include.

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Elaborate Formats And Designs

When it comes to selecting a design for your resume, less is more. Not only do elaborate designs and unconventional formats confuse most applicant tracking systems, but they also annoy recruiters who are accustomed to quickly scanning a resume for specific information they expect to find in particular spots within the document. Don’t make recruiters hunt for the information they care about. Play it safe and stick to a clean resume design with a clear hierarchy. Not sure what works? Check out TopResume’s library of free resume samples.

Use High Contrast With A Key Color

What Not To Put On Your Resume

High contrast, especially in side bars, paired with key colors, are quite a trendy resume design concept in 2020. It’s a stylish look with lots of potential. This could work well for many industries, making it a flexible and adaptable visual direction, too.

Think about your color choices in your resume. Color is very communicative, so think about what your color choices say about your professional brand.

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Importance Of A Good Cv

Think of your CV as your own living, breathing personal pitch a pitch that succinctly answers all the questions a recruiter or hiring manager has about you. The degree to which you present the reader with the information they require to make an informed decision can determine whether you are invited to interview.

This includes why you are applying for this job, with this organisation and in this industry, what value you can bring to the organisation and whether you have what is required to be successful in the role.

To leave the reader with no doubt about your suitability, you must present a strong CV that clearly conveys this information.

To do this, below youll find our tips on how to write a resume. Alternatively, you can download our resume template.

The Reason You Left The Job

Save this information for the interview. Whether you left the job in order to advance your career, or you were terminated, explanations on paper have to be far too brief to give a future employer a favorable impression. At an interview, you are far more likely to be able to place a good spin on even an unpleasant termination.

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What Not Include In Your Resume

Resumes are typically one to two pages. A good rule of thumb to follow when applying to jobs: Customize your resume to contain information that relates to the job you are applying for.

There are also some things that should not be on your resume. Including them can get your resume kicked out or screened out of consideration for before it makes it through the review process.

Here is another rule of thumb to remember, If there is any doubt, leave it out

In fact, it makes perfect sense in some cases not to include information on your resume that could hinder your chances of getting an interview. Be sure you dont include any wrong information or any indication that might lead the employer or the hiring manager to presume you are not motivated or qualified for the job.

You might think the more the merrier youre giving the employer many more reasons to hire you.

No, when it comes to resume writing, you need to be specific and on target. The recruiter or the hiring manager should be able to scan through your resume and see your qualifications without any red flags or doubt you can do the job. There is some information that should be included on every resume to achieve this goal.

So What Do Recruiters or Employers Want to see in a Resume?

According to a recent survey, heres what Recruiters and employers want when they review resumes:

Recruiters take an average of 6 seconds to scan a resume. Source Glassdoor

Here is a list of items that should not be on your resume.


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