On the Job Hunt? Here’s What Not to Include in Your Resume


Writing or rewriting a resume is one of the first steps in the job-hunting process. And, although you’ve spent lots of time deciding what to add to your resume, you also need to know what to leave off.

Here are seven items you should reconsider:

  1. Unrelated Work Experience
    A resume isn’t meant to be a list of every job you’ve held since high school. Rather, a resume should highlight the positions you’ve held that make you a great fit for a specific job. Of course, there are exceptions. If you are early in your career, you may wish to add summer or part-time jobs to display your strong work ethic.
  2. Hobbies and Volunteer Work
    Hobbies are fun to have, and volunteer work can be inspiring. However, unless either of these relate directly to the job you are applying for, don’t include them. Instead, put this information in your social media accounts. When a hiring manager checks your LinkedIn profile and discovers you volunteer for Habitat for Humanity on the weekends, you may become a more appealing candidate.
  3. Overused Buzzwords and Phrases
    You’ve seen these statements (and so has everyone else): great communication skills, hard worker, team player and detail orientated. These phrases are boring and meaningless. Cross them out. Replace them with specific examples, data and facts. For example, “Spearheaded an initiative to improve customer satisfaction ratings by 20 percent over three months,” shows exactly how you are a hardworking, team player.
  4. A Headshot
    Unless you are looking for an acting or modeling job, you don’t need a photo of yourself on your resume. In addition to being distracting, photos and other graphics can wreak havoc with the applicant tracking systems (ATS) many companies use to electronically scan resumes. You don’t want your application rejected because of a computer glitch. To stay on the safe side, keep everything text based.
  5. Fancy Fonts and Formatting
    As with photos, applicant tracking systems don’t work well with fancy fonts and elaborate formatting. Keep your document simple, professional and easy to read. This helps hiring managers as they need to identify relevant information at a glance. An exception might be a position, such as a graphic designer, requiring an infographic resume.
  6. Personal Details
    Omit your social security number, age, marital status, nationality, sexual orientation and/or religious beliefs from your resume. Delete your mailing address too. A single phone number and an email address is all an employer needs to contact you.
  7. References
    References don’t belong on your resume. Nor should you include the overused and space-wasting phrase, “References available upon request.” If your potential employer does ask for references before or after an interview, create a separate Reference List document.

Do You Wish Your Resume Was Giving You Better Results?

At BOS Staffing, we open doors to great jobs! Our professional recruiters can review your application materials and match you to the right position in Norcross, Georgia and beyond. Browse our available openings and supercharge your job hunt today!


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