The 5 Things That Should NEVER be Included in a Resume

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5 Things That Should NEVER be Included in a Resume

By: Gail Fritzinger

Throughout my career in corporate recruiting, executive search and career transition coaching, I have reviewed hundreds of resumes.  As all job seekers should know, the resume is THE most important document in your portfolio.  It can be the difference between getting the interview and the “thanks but no thanks” letter.  As opposed to a job application, the resume is a marketing document and can be crafted to present your skills, strengths, experience and accomplishments in the very best light.  It is customary to highlight more recent jobs, leave off less relevant positions and focus on the specific experience that fits the position for which you are applying.  In summary, you are tailoring your resume for each position to maximize your chances for getting an interview.

Ideally, resumes should not be longer than two pages.   With this space limitation in mind,  the following 5 things should absolutely NOT be included in your customized marketing document:

An Objective – If you are applying for a specific job, the employer will assume you are interested and want the job.  Objectives tell an employer what you want them to do for you, i.e. “A position that offers challenge and opportunity for advancement”.  As a job seeker, you are not in the position to ask for anything.  Instead, craft a short Summary of Qualifications coupled with a Key Skills/Strengths statement highlighting the value/contributions you can bring to their organization.

Photographs – Most companies do not want you to attach a photograph (unless you are applying for a modeling position) so that they can adhere to the Equal Employment Opportunity practices and avoid any chance of discriminatory hiring.  This being said, a professional headshot is appropriate for your Linkedin profile.

Personal Data –  No personal data should be included on your resume beyond your address (just City and State is fine), phone and email.  I also like to see a customized Linkedin URL in the heading of the resume.  Personal data may include: age/date of birth, race, religion, political affiliation, family data, sex/sexual orientation, Social Security number, driver’s license or credit card information.  It’s illegal to ask and nobody’s business!

Obsolete Skills – This pertains especially to technical skills.  If you are highly skilled in Lotus 1-2-3 or MS-DOS, leave it off the resume.  Make sure the skills you include are current and relevant to the position.

Salary History – Salary requirements are discussed with a potential employer at the time of the interview.  Do not commit yourself to a salary range on your resume.  It will often eliminate you from consideration or limit your ability to negotiate a salary package during the interview process.

In summary, customize your resume for each position with information that is relevant and highlights how your experience can add value to the organization.   What are some other resume techniques that you have used to stand out amongst the competition?


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