Things to Delete from Your Resume
I’ve read and written countless posts about things you must include on your resume. After reading all of them I decided it was time to discuss things that you should take OFF of your resume. While this list is endless, here are some key things that I see repeatedly on resumes that shouldn’t be there:
- Coursework: Listing all of the courses you’ve ever taken at college is unnecessary. The proper way to include this information is to only list 4-6 highly relevant courses that fall in line with your major field of study and chosen career path.
- Interests: Anything unrelated to your job search is unnecessary to list on your resume. I have read about children and cats, cooking, gardening and watching movies while recruiting for IT and Engineering professionals. Those irrelevant interests turn your resume into a highly irrelevant mess.
- Clip art: I’ve seen many (potentially) relevant pictures on one’s resume. While this makes you stand out, it doesn’t always make you stand out in a good way, especially if you’re not applying for an artistic position. Even if you are applying for an artistic position (graphic designer), having clip art isn’t the best idea. Show off your creativity and display something original that you created yourself. Bottom line: clip art is a no-no but if you’re an artistic job seeker than some original art work is just fine.
- Color: This falls in the same category as the clip art. Your resume should be black and white unless you’re applying to an artistic position. Leave the pink font for your emails to your friends but be professional on your resume. Let your personality shine through in your interviews!
- Head shots: These are usually just plain scary, even if you’re smiling. You don’t need to be staring at the recruiter while s/he reads your resume! Leave them off.
- Phone numbers and street addresses of employers: While I thank you for the detail you’re providing, it’s not necessary to include the exact street address of the company you worked for in the past. Phone numbers and supervisor names are also not necessary at this point. Gather up a references list and include the contact information there!
- Reasons why positions ended: This is something that is discussed during the interview process and isn’t something necessary to be put on the resume. Simply listing your dates of employment, job duties, job title and company name is enough.
This also leads me to another reminder about temporary assignments. It’s okay to list:
Receptionist, ABC Staffing Company Syracuse, NY June 2010 – September 2010 (Temporary)
To let people know that you completed the assignment instead of jumping to conclusions that you got fired.
- Personal information: Your date of birth, your birth place, your social security number, and your spouse’s name are irrelevant to your job search so leave them off your resume!
- Social media profiles: Again, your resume should be completely relevant to the job you’re applying to every time you apply. Therefore if you’re not applying to some sort of communications or social media related job the profiles and information can remain off.
- References available upon request: If you have room you can leave this on here but as references are typically requested and given to a recruiter you don’t have to list this if you don’t have room. It’s one of those “givens” that references will be provided at some point in the hiring process.
What else is important to take off of your resume?