Up Close and Too Personal – What to Leave OFF Your Resume

A resume serves as a reflection of who you are:  it contains your education, your illustrious work experience, various ways to contact you…  But then, a resume should never really reflect who you are.  We’re talking about the personal details – the little things that make you the fabulous person you are today, but that should really have no bearing on landing a job.

So whether you’re just starting to apply to jobs for the first time, or are a seasoned job search veteran, here’s a refresher course on things that you should never include on your resume:

Religion

If you’re not applying to a job at a religious institution, keep your views off the page.  It’s irrelevant to the job, and hiring managers are not allowed to take it under consideration anyway, so there’s really no place for it.  If you volunteer at a religious organization and you consider this experience especially relevant to the job you’re applying to, you can mention it briefly.  However, if you must include it, keep the organization anonymous and focus on your role instead.  For example:

Volunteer Instructor – once a week, taught a classroom of thirty children, ages 10-12.

Also, keep in mind that anything you mention in the resume is likely to come up during the interview, so include this information at your own risk.

Politics

Again, if you’re not going into politics, leave it off.  These sorts of matters are controversial in the first place, are irrelevant, and if anything, just take up valuable space.  Like with religion, if you consider your political experience extra valuable and relevant to a particular job – and just can’t bear to take it off the resume – avoid mentioning the organization name, and be prepared to discuss further during an interview.

Sexual Orientation

Sexual preference may be a key component to who you are, but it has nothing to do with how well you can perform on the job.  More than this, even though discrimination in the workplace is illegal, it still exists in some places, so don’t take your chances.

Age

Though you may be the perfect fit for the position, ageism in the workplace certainly exists, and you may be eliminated from the pool prematurely if you are perceived as being too old or too young.  If age is an issue, be cautious with including specific dates on your resume as well (most hiring managers can do the math).  So if your 30-year college reunion is around the corner, you might want to keep that graduation date to yourself and also leave off some of your early, less relevant experience.

Health and Disabilities

The law protects persons with health issues or disabilities, but again, you should leave this information off of your resume.  It’s irrelevant and opportunity for discrimination exists.

Criminal Record

The general rule with a criminal record is to be upfront and honest with a hiring manager, but the resume is not the place for this.  Wait until the interview to bring this up.

While you want to give the hiring manager a good idea of who you are, there’s definitely a point where you can become too personal in what you decide to disclose.  Always aim to flaunt how great you are on your resume – just be a bit discerning while you do it.

 

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Doostang Success — My Dream Job in Venture Capital

Himani

UC Berkeley, 2010
Investment Analyst – Hercules Technology Growth Capital

“I ended up at Doostang after trying multiple job seeking platforms. The experience here was so much more interactive, unlike other places that felt like a black hole – sucking my applications with no response.

In contrast, at Doostang I was impressed by features like status notifications, which showed me when my resume was downloaded and which employer viewed it.

There is a great amount of credibility in Doostang, so I could be sure that my unique skill sets and qualifications would reach the right set of employers.

I’ve been ‘job watching’ for almost 2 years, and I’ve never seen such a relevant aggregation of specific ‘field-positions’ until Doostang.

Their investment management space in finance has the most updated and selective postings. And that’s how I landed my job at Hercules Technology Growth Capital. Doostang has been an ideal platform for me to end up at my dream job in venture capital.

Kudos to the team, and sincere thanks.”


Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Finance Intern – Leading Capital Placement Firm, New York, NY

Sr. Marketing Analyst – Leading Ecommerce Retailer, Boston, MA

Start-Up Hedge Fund Operations Associate – Start-Up Hedge Fund, Manhattan, NY

Chief Executive Officer – Rising Nonprofit Educator, Charleston, SC

Entry Level Treasury Analyst – Top-Tier Financial Company, San Diego, CA

Search jobs on Doostang

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Doostang Success — It Took Seconds to Get My Foot in the Door

Chris

Florida State University, 2011
Research Analyst – AEW Capital Management

“I recently graduated from Florida State University’s Master of Science in Finance program. I was looking for a career in which I would play a vital role in research and investment strategies with a large company with international exposure. A friend of mine had referred me to Doostang, and I could not be happier for the advice.

While the job market is still tight, Doostang did a great job of consolidating the job opportunities into an easy application process, where I knew my resume and cover letter were being viewed.

We all know how cut-throat the internet job search can be, but Doostang took out a lot of the heavy lifting in the job search process by allowing me to filter my searches toward the career ventures I deemed relevant, but also ones that I had a decent shot at, being an entry level candidate from a non-target school.

I received three calls back about openings before I found my dream job. I interviewed at all three, and received an offer from a PE firm.

The opportunity wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, so I continued sending out my cover letter and resume until I got an email from my current employer. After two phone screens, I was flown up to Boston, where I interviewed and got the job.

The firm manages over $47 billion of assets and securities, and was just the international exposure I was looking for! This opportunity has put me in a position to get experience at a high quality investment management firm, and sets me up perfectly to continue my own personal education by offering to pay for the CFA.

I have spent years cold calling and networking, trying to get an opportunity that just took me seconds to get my foot in the door for via Doostang.

You can’t put a price on a website that is so filter-friendly, and ensures you with alert features that your resume is being viewed by potential employers. This website was great to help me narrow down the job function and industry that fit my personality and career aspirations. I will continue to, and have been referring Doostang to friends and family. Thanks Doostang!”


Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Junior Trader – Registered Financial Trading Firm, Greenwich, CT

Consultant/Manager – Top Tier Global Management Consulting Firm, Boston, MA

Associate – Cutting Edge Private Equity Investment & Advisory Group, SF Bay Area, CA

Strategy & Analysis Manager – Leading Digital Marketing & Media Company, Chicago, IL

Analyst – Growing Corporate Finance Advisory Firm, Stamford, CT

Search jobs on Doostang

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Doostang Success — An Offer from a Venture Capital Group in Boston

Connor

Villanova University, 2011
Analyst – Hercules Technology Growth Capital

“I recently received and accepted an offer to work for a venture capital group in Boston. I was in the process of interviewing for another 2 jobs I found on Doostang but immediately jumped on this offer with a great, young group back home.

I am a graduating senior from Villanova University and the on campus recruiting here is quite limited and quickly dwindles down by the end of the fall.

Doostang provided a constant stream of new job postings in much more relevant and interesting fields and was able to offer these quality positions in many cities across the country.

One of the biggest drawbacks to solely relying on campus recruiting is the limited types of positions (Villanova is BIG on accounting and operations jobs) and limited geographic options (heavy NYC, Philadelphia, NJ based companies).

Doostang has a very strong reputation amongst companies in the San Francisco and NYC area and my other 2 jobs I was interviewing for were in the San Francisco/Palo Alto area.

I was very pleased with the quality and frequency of jobs found on Doostang. The interface and web page set up was very user friendly and made tracking and submitting applications (with resumes, cover letters, messages) a breeze.”


Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Equity Analyst-Industrials – Prestigious, Research-Driven Asset Management Firm, New York, NY

Sr. Manager/Manager – Boutique Strategy Consulting Firm, San Francisco, CA

Research Analyst – Premier Mutual Fund Manager, Denver, CO

Associate – Full Service Real Estate Brokerage & Investment Firm, New York, NY

Analyst Group Head – Top Wealth Management Service Provider, Miami, FL

Search jobs on Doostang

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Doostang Success — Job at a Prestigious Consulting Firm

Deotima

McGill University, 2010
Analyst – Compass Lexecon

“Being an international student who was working in Canada, it seemed almost impossible to land a job in the US in the current economic climate.

However after I started applying to jobs on Doostang, I heard back from a firm two weeks into my search and landed a job offer a month after at a prestigious consulting firm.

I think Doostang sets itself apart from the competition in that it has many jobs where your application goes straight to the Hiring Manager’s inbox, that is ultimately what set my job search apart from everyone else’s.”


Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Analyst – Leading Alternative Investments Group, New York, NY

Consultant – Rapidly Growing Management Advisory Firm, Multiple Locations

Investment Banking Analyst – Premier Investment Banking Firm, Philadelphia, PA

Sales Intern – Data Analytics & Predictive Modeling Company, New Castle, DE

Equity Trader – Leading Proprietary Trading Firm, New York, NY

Search jobs on Doostang

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Tips for Staying Organized

Research Analyst, New York, NY
Experienced Consultant, Chicago, IL
Sr. Accountant, Greenwich, CT
Strategy Intern, Birmingham, AL
Analyst, San Francisco, CA

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For many, the constant fight to stay organized can cause stress and cut productivity.  Worse still, it can lead individuals to make mistakes that can have grave consequences for their jobs.  If this sounds like a problem you struggle with, read on for some tips on how to cut the clutter out of your life.

Track, List, and Sort

One of the best ways to stay on top of your projects and deadlines is by developing a system that allows you to track what you have to do and where you stand in terms of getting it done.  Consider creating a list outlining all your projects and their respective due dates.  Alternatively, designate a file or bin for all of the paperwork that you need to go through, and place the most important stuff on top.  Once you’ve done this, make sure to check things off your list as you get them done, or move projects from one bin to another once they have been addressed.

Regroup

While in the midst of your work, it’s helpful to take a few breathers where you pause to consider what you’ve completed and what still needs to be done.  Doing so ensures that you don’t get distracted or miss anything important.  This is where your list or designated project bin will be helpful.

Take Advantage of Every Minute

There are many tasks that can be completed in a short period of time, such as filing documents, shooting off a few quick emails, or making copies.  So instead of putting off these small activities for a later date, do them while you’re thinking about them and likely have a few moments to spare.  Putting them aside for later will only create a backlog of tedious work.

Create Space

There’s nothing worse than losing yourself under a pile of papers.  Try to free up space on your desk by creating files or bins into which you can sort random piles of papers.  This will also help you to track down important documents more easily when you need them.

Throw it Away!

When things start to pile up, take some time to go through everything and throw stuff away.  A good rule is that if you haven’t looked at something in several months, or if you’re unsure about a particular document but it’s something you can easily replace, toss it.  People get attached to their paperwork or worry that they might need it at a later date, and ultimately just end up creating more of a mess than anything else.  Don’t be afraid to utilize your trash bin!

The problem with staying organized is that it’s not a one-time overhaul.  Rather, it’s an ongoing process where you constantly have to make lists, shuffle papers around, and throw things away.  But if you get into good habits now, staying organized won’t seem so trying later on!

Keep it clean,

The Doostang Team

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Doostang Success — New Job within a Month of Becoming a Member

Ben

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006
Credit Operations Analyst – Northern Trust

“I was referred to Doostang by a friend who had recently found a job through the site.  My initial response was ‘Doostang, what kind of name is that?  I doubt I’ll find a job using it but I’ll give it a shot’.

Prior to becoming a Doostang member, I had obtained a few interview opportunities through recruiters, UofI’s alumni network and referrals, but none of them provided the volume and quality of job postings that Doostang provides.

I was impressed with Doostang’s database of jobs, as well as the ease with which one can apply for jobs and the ability to directly connect with hiring managers (as opposed to getting thrown in a stack of hundreds of other resumes).

Within the first week of being a member, I applied for over ten different jobs. The next week I was contacted by two of the companies that I had applied for and was asked to interview.

The interview process was successful and I started my new job within a month of becoming a Doostang member.

The reason why my success story is most likely common among other members is that with Doostang, candidates have so many quality jobs to choose from that they can narrow their search criteria and find the job opportunities that fit them best.  I’ve already recommended this site to friends and colleagues and when they ask me what Doostang means I just tell them to try out the site, they won’t be disappointed.”


Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Associate – Private Investment & Specialty Finance Firm, White Plains, NY

Sr. Loan Officer – Top National Mortgage Financing Company, Tampa, FL

Investment Research Analyst – Leading Registered Investment Advisory Firm, Boston, MA

Internet Marketing Manager – Premier Online Payments Platform, SF Bay Area, CA

Compliance Analyst – Top Tier Independent Asset Management Firm, New York, NY

Search jobs on Doostang

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What to Consider When Making a Career Switch

Analyst, White Plains, NY
Sourcing Professional, Seattle, WA
Client Services Analyst, San Francisco, CA
Corporate Development Manager, Burlington, MA
Private Equity Associate, New York, NY

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We’re no longer of a generation that chooses one career and sticks with it.  While our grandparents may have stayed with a single company their entire working lives, nowadays people bounce around companies, continents, and career paths all the time.  Unfortunately, this means that our forefathers may not be able to give us the best advice when we decide we want to make the transition.  So here are some important things to consider while making that uncertain, foreboding, and always exciting career switch!

Assess Where You’re At

A crucial part of changing direction is determining exactly where you currently stand.  It’s important to understand why you want to make a change, and what specifically you have at the moment that you want to modify.  Is your work unfulfilling, not paying you well enough, or leading to a dead end?  And are there ways you can remedy these current problems without jumping ship?  Making a career switch is a huge task, so instead of falling into the “grass is always greener” mentality right away, it may be wise to evaluate whether or not you can find ways to be happier where you currently are.

Do Your Research

Before you make any hasty decisions, it’s important to understand what you’ll be getting yourself into.  You don’t want to transition out of a career just to find the same problems in the new industry you’re entering.  For the new field that you’re considering, make sure you have a solid understanding of salary range, career path, corporate culture, and so on.  You don’t want to glorify a new career solely because it presents a change, and then come to find out that you were happier beforehand.

Get Qualified!

Just because you feel passionate about a new position doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to come easily to you.  Even if you’re an expert in your current field, you may find yourself having to start from scratch when you transition to a new one.  Figure out what prerequisites are essential for the new career you’re pursuing, and accept the fact that you may have to spend considerable time becoming qualified for the new position.  This might mean taking classes, learning new skills, or hitting the books and catching up on industry literature.

Make Connections

Another step to start thinking about is how you’re going to work your way into the “in crowd” of your chosen industry.  It’s important to know the right people when you’re making a career switch, as they’ll be able to impart advice, make introductions, and present you with new paths to consider.  To that end, think about finding a mentor you can chat back and forth with as you grow and become more established in your new vocation.

Making a career switch takes courage, so pat yourself on the back if you’ve decided to embark on this transition.  Remember that it won’t always be easy, but that the best things in life take hard work and tenacity.

Best of luck,

The Doostang Team

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Doostang Success — Sales Analyst Job with Morgan Stanley

Brandon

Villanova University, 2009
Sales Analyst – Morgan Stanley

“I signed up for Doostang a few months ago out of curiosity to see what opportunities were out there. Even though I wasn’t actively looking at the time, Doostang helped spark my interest in other career paths. The website is very useful in that I was able to locate an opening for a job as soon as it became available, thus giving me an advantage over individuals who may see the position after it has already been posted for some time.

I received a job at Morgan Stanley shortly after applying to it on Doostang and have been very pleased with my experience.”


Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Investment Banking Analyst – Premier Full Service Investment Bank, New York, NY

Marketing Intern – LA-Based Boutique Investment Bank, Los Angeles, CA

Entry Level Financial Analyst – Leading Financial Consultancy, Philadelphia, PA

Sales/Business Development Associate – Leading PPC Program Developer, Chicago, IL

Operations Associate – Premier Asset Management Firm, San Francisco, CA

Search jobs on Doostang

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Tricky Interview Questions

Analyst, San Francisco, CA
Operations Intern – Summer MBA, Atlanta, GA
Entry-Level Financial Analyst, Philadelphia, PA
Consulting Analyst, Waltham, MA
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We’ve covered a lot of tough interview questions in past posts, and here we come at you with yet another round.  Sometimes interviewers ask us questions that are more on the tricky side.  It’s hard to know what to say – it often seems the best approach is to tell them what they want to hear, rather than the truth – and sometimes it’s just confusing why these questions are being asked in the first place.  Here are a few examples:

What Are Your Hobbies?

Why is this question relevant to the job you’re applying for, and why would the interviewer care enough to ask this in a formal interview?  Try to look at this question as a means for the interviewer to understand who you are a little better.  If you’re hired, you’ll be absorbed into the company culture, so the company wants to get a more complete picture of you as an individual.  Understanding what you do for fun can help the interviewer determine what your working style might be like.  It can also help them determine how a job will fit into your life, given what you do outside of your work.

How Would Your Coworkers Describe You?

Do you even know the answer to this question?  Could you really provide an accurate assessment of what others think?  This question is more of a way for the interviewer to find out what qualities you most value about yourself, as you likely assume that these are the same traits that others appreciate.  It also showcases how modest or overconfident you might be.  Here you might take the chance to describe some positive interactions you’ve had with coworkers, citing instances where you have collaborated with them on projects.  This will give you a way to back up your answer, as well as to imply that you are able to work well in a team.

Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

This question is tricky because it’s hard to tell if you should speak about yourself in five years at that company – after all, you don’t want to appear presumptuous, but you also don’t want to seem disloyal.  And what if where you want to be is in the seat of the person who is interviewing you?  Instead of focusing on what specific position you see yourself in, try to think of things you want to have achieved.  In what areas will you grow the most?  What goals do you have for your career?  After you’ve considered these questions, you can then turn your answer around and talk about ways in which you will be able to accomplish all of this at the company you are interviewing for, speaking about how your growth will be mutually beneficial for you and the corporation.

Some questions during the interview can seem like time wasters – and some are.  But interviewers often have underlying points they’re trying to get at, even if it’s just to see how you’ll react to a specific question.  Try to prepare for an interview as thoroughly as you can and keep an open mind when tackling tricky questions like these.

All the best,

The Doostang Team

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