Ten Things to Never Put on Your Resume
A resume is not meant to be your life story. You do not have to bare your soul and
share every ugly detail of your work history. Your resume is your personal sales
brochure whose only purpose is to get you an interview. To help show yourself in the
best possible light, carefully choose what you put on and leave off of your resume.
You should (almost) never include the following:
1. Dates that reveal your age. Sad to say, but age discrimination is alive and well. Ways
to avoid revealing your age include not showing the year you graduated from college
and not listing all of your work experience (only include the most recent years that are
most applicable to the position you are applying for). If you are applying for a position
that requires many years of experience, then your age may be an asset, otherwise
don't take that chance.
2. Hobbies. Unless your hobby is directly related to your career, it's best to leave it off.
Showing too many activities can cause the employer to worry if they will interfere with
your work. In addition, the space used for discussing your hobbies could be better spent
on discussing your skills. The interview may provide you with an opportunity to talk about
your hobbies as it provides you with an opportunity to show how well rounded you are.
3. "References available upon request." This is a waste of space. Most often when you
fill out the job application there will be a place for you to list your references. Use the
space on your resume to discuss job specific information.
4. Generic objectives. Objectives like "To obtain a challenging position in a fortune 500
company" don't say anything. Your objective statement should be custom tailored to the
position and the company you are applying for. You can also replace your objective statement
with a skills summary or professional summary if you think that will better serve you.
5. Short lived jobs. Employers don't like job hoppers. Most employers want to believe
that their employees will be around long enough for them to recoup the dollars spent on
training. Leave off any jobs that you only worked at for a few months. If you worked
several jobs with a temporary or contracting agency, list the agency as your employer
and each job as a project or assignment. Of course when it comes time to fill out the
job application list all of your employers even the short ones; but by then hopefully
you'll already have an interview scheduled where you can then address any concerns or issues.
6. GPA. Once you are more than a couple of years out of college, your GPA becomes
fairly irrelevant. The only exception to this may be careers where there is heavy
emphasis placed on education; in that case it may do you good to include your GPA
or class ranking. But even in those situations, if your GPA was average or low, don't
draw attention to that fact by listing it.
7. Information that reveals your religion, gender, sexual preference, political party,
or anything else remotely controversial.