Doostang News May 31 – What NOT to Include in Your Resume

what-not-to-include-in-a-resumeAnalyst / Associate, New York, NY
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Putting together a great resume is time consuming, so once you finally send your masterpiece to the company hiring manager, you’d like to think that the little beauty will make it past the resume pile. Fair or unfair, such is not always the case, even if you’ve followed all the rules. Now imagine that your resume violates any of the delicate tenets of acceptable resume writing, and you’ll be out of there before you’ve even had a chance to unwind from hitting the ‘send’ button. Read on for a list of things to keep off of the old CV:

Irrelevant Job Experience

It’s difficult to trim great experience that doesn’t necessarily pertain to the job you’re currently applying for.  For one thing, this experience shaped who you are today and you acquired some great skills along the way.  But if there aren’t any transferable skills present, cut it.  It only clutters the resume and makes the valuable stuff harder to find.

Your Entire Work History

You may be proud of the fact that you’ve managed to hold various jobs since the day you turned 16.  While this displays a fabulous work ethic, it clutters your resume yet again.  Your ability to hold a job all through high school and still maintain straight A’s may have impressed the college admissions office, but it’s going to annoy the HR associate reviewing your resume.

Dishonesty

It’s never a good idea to lie about work experience, where you went to school, degrees you have attained, etc., because even though you may feel you’d be able to pull a fast one on the hiring manager, they’ll find out somehow. Believe in yourself and your merits enough to tell the truth and score the job because you actually deserve it.

Photograph

When you are applying to jobs overseas, the policy on including photographs on your resume can differ; but in general it’s wise not to include a head shot, glamour shot, or otherwise.  First of all, companies cannot legally decide to interview or hire a person based on appearance; second of all, many will move past resumes that do include photographs in order to stay on the safe side.  So just don’t do it – if anything, it takes up valuable space that you could be using for something else.

Attitude

It’s reasonable to assume that humor, sarcasm, or some other in-your-face attitude will gain recognition and a second look – heck, maybe you’re such a comedian that they’ll want to bring you in for an interview so that they can meet you face to face!  Wrong.  Businesses are running a serious operation when they’re searching to bring someone else on.  Most won’t have time for your silly jokes.  Instead, save your winning personality for the interview.

Deciding what to put on a resume can be tricky, especially when you’re only allotted a page or two and about 20 seconds of a hiring manager’s time.  Keep it short, succinct, and professional, and you’ll be well on your way to an interview!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

Comments

  1. Sherry Recruiter says

    Some good tips here – but don’t forget to leave OFF your birthday, ss#, whether you are married or single, or have children. Also – I really don’t care or need to know if you are a church goer or not. If you have some specific skill that is relevant from a church volunteer position sure mention it. But if it has nothing to do with the specific job you are applying to or industry, leave it off. That falls under the category of TMI.
    I have been a recruiter for 10 years, and I expect it now and then from folks over 50 or from foreign countries, but I am very surprised how often those in their 40s, 30s and even 20s often include this information.

  2. Sherry Recruiter says

    Some good tips here – but don’t forget to leave OFF your birthday, ss#, whether you are married or single, or have children. Also – I really don’t care or need to know if you are a church goer or not. If you have some specific skill that is relevant from a church volunteer position sure mention it. But if it has nothing to do with the specific job you are applying to or industry, leave it off. That falls under the category of TMI.
    I have been a recruiter for 10 years, and I expect it now and then from folks over 50 or from foreign countries, but I am very surprised how often those in their 40s, 30s and even 20s often include this information.

  3. Kristina says

    I just graduated from college two weeks ago and, during college, held all sorts of campus jobs and summer jobs. I’m afraid if I don’t include all of my work experience on my resume, it will look empty compared to others’. Even if I only remove the work experiences irrelevant to whichever position I’m applying for, it might still be left with very little on it, since my job experiences up to this point have left me more well-rounded than specialized. Is there an answer that would be some sort of “happy medium” for recent graduates like myself? Thank you!

  4. Kristina says

    I just graduated from college two weeks ago and, during college, held all sorts of campus jobs and summer jobs. I’m afraid if I don’t include all of my work experience on my resume, it will look empty compared to others’. Even if I only remove the work experiences irrelevant to whichever position I’m applying for, it might still be left with very little on it, since my job experiences up to this point have left me more well-rounded than specialized. Is there an answer that would be some sort of “happy medium” for recent graduates like myself? Thank you!

  5. says

    Hi Kristina,

    Many recent grads are in the same position with little or no relevant industry experience. Instead of filling your resume with a multitude of irrelevant jobs, pick a couple that you think are the most relevant and elaborate on your roles and accomplishments for each one. For example, if you’ve held 3 similar administrative positions, no need to mention all 3 and sound repetitive – pick one and use the extra space to discuss what you did in more detail. Also remember that it’s ok to include relevant coursework, so if you’ve taken classes that sound relevant mention those as well. Good luck!

    – The Doostang Team

  6. says

    Hi Kristina,

    Many recent grads are in the same position with little or no relevant industry experience. Instead of filling your resume with a multitude of irrelevant jobs, pick a couple that you think are the most relevant and elaborate on your roles and accomplishments for each one. For example, if you’ve held 3 similar administrative positions, no need to mention all 3 and sound repetitive – pick one and use the extra space to discuss what you did in more detail. Also remember that it’s ok to include relevant coursework, so if you’ve taken classes that sound relevant mention those as well. Good luck!

    – The Doostang Team

  7. says

    Excellent article. I love being a career coach and helping others to succeed. It is the same feeling of accomplishment that an athletic or talent coach experiences when their team, their student, achieves a goal.

  8. says

    I just came across this post as I am currently seeking a start-up to join in Boston. Definitely got me thinking out of the box and putting much less emphasis on my resume and much more on the cover letter and initial email.

    Thanks for the tips!

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