Your resume is one of the most important documents of your professional life. It is often the first impression that a potential employer has of you. Whatever is in your resume could make or break your chances of landing an interview. Many job seekers tend to pay special attention to all the things they should include in their resume. While this should be focused upon, don’t forget to pay attention to the kind of things your resume must absolutely not include. We have weeded out 15 such things that a good resume must never contain.
- An over-the-top objective
You may want to be the next Steve Jobs, and that is great, but it does not have to find its way onto your resume. You may be convinced that you have the resources necessary to make this a reality, but try not to let these seemingly tall claims land up on your resume. It makes you come across as overconfident, outlandish and also at times, slightly delusional.
- The reason why you left your last job
There are some things that you should leave for when you are being interviewed, and this is one of those things. No matter what your reasons might have been, whether it was to explore greener pastures or you couldn’t cope with the work, you can’t quite explain all of these in detail in your resume. This is more of a conversation to have one-on-one. Just a one-liner on your resume might make you come across in a bad light. At least when you are having such a conversation personally, you can do your best to amend even the most unfavorable circumstances.
- Information that is way too personal
Unless you are an actor or a model, do you think it is really necessary for your potential employer to know your height, weight, color of your eyes or religion? The only personal information that should find its way to your resume should be your name, your address and your contact numbers, nothing more.
- High school scores
It is great that you scored 95% in your high school or college, but does your potential employer really need to know that? Leave out any unnecessary scores on your resume that have no connection with the job you are applying for.
- Salary information
Discussions like salary must take place face-to-face in an interview. Avoid cluttering your resume up with inconsequential salary information which may work against you by eliminating you from being the running for the job position in question. If you have put your salary expectations down in black and white, it comes across that you are not open for a negotiation. There are some postings that require you to add a monetary expectation. If this is the case, be sure to include this information in your cover letter and write ‘negotiable’ wherever applicable.
- Incorrect information
The details on your resume should be absolutely accurate and free from any fibs or inconsistencies. This makes you come across as a pathological liar that no employer wants in his team.
- Exact dates
Nothing clutters up a resume more than exact dates do. Usually, only online resume submission forms ask you to provide exact dates. If you are writing your own resume, use only months and years and leave out the unnecessary details.
- Obscure words and bad grammar
The world has become a grammar Nazi and potential employers are no different! There is no excuse for bad grammar and spelling mistakes in your resume. So take extra care to check it before you print it. Your resume should be simple and clear-cut. So avoid using obscure words like ‘consecrated’ to describe yourself when you can just say that you are ‘committed’.
- Pretty paper
You aren’t sending a love letter or writing a sonnet to your potential employer. That is why you should never use fancy, colored or scented paper for your resume. Stick to quality bond paper in either ivory or plain white.
- Your photograph
Again, unless you are an actor or model, there is no need for your employer to see your photograph in your resume. This practice used to be quite popular in the past but is a dated one that should not be used.
- Your availability
How soon you can join is an important aspect but not one that needs to be on your resume. This is something that should be discussed in person in your interview. Avoid including dates of your availability in your resume.
- Demands or mandates
Your resume is a tool with which you are selling yourself to a potential employer. There is no room on your resume for demands or mandates. That is not to say that you need to be subservient but any such expectations that you may have should be reserved for the negotiation part of the interview, after an offer has already been made to you. Your resume must demonstrate what you are able to provide to your employer and not the other way around.
- Too many pronouns
Using too many pronouns in your resume makes you come across as quite a self-absorbed bragger. Instead of saying things like ‘I successfully completed…,” use ‘successfully completed…’
- Irrelevant job experience
Only add work experience that is pertinent to the industry or job that you are applying for. Avoid cluttering your resume with irrelevant work experience.
- Achievements that aren’t really achievements and weird hobbies
If you won a burger-eating contest when you were 19, you might want to leave that out of your resume. You want to come across as professional in your resume, achievements such as these, don’t really do the trick. Don’t throw your potential employer off the track with weird hobbies. Keep it simple with things like reading, playing etc.