Please Don’t Put This On Your Résumé

As I review résumés, I am always surprised at some of the information people choose to include. Seven seconds is the average amount of time an employer quickly scans your résumé before deciding if it is worth a closer read. Make the most of the limited space you have, and avoid including these unnecessary pieces of information.

An Objective
These–at least the better ones–are typically written according to a formula along the lines of: “I desire to use my A,B,C skills to do X,Y,Z at your company.” The worst ones are even less specific, simply stating “To get a job in X,Y,Z field.”

There are two problems with listing an objective. The first is that your desire to obtain a position with the company is obvious; you are submitting a résumé. The second problem is that these statements are rarely written in a way that communicates what you have to offer. Instead they typically state what you desire from the employer. A résumé is your marketing tool. As such, it needs to show employers what value you bring to them. If you must include some type of summary statement, it is better to use a professional profile consisting of a single sentence that summarizes your experience in the industry.

Unprofessional Email Address
Perhaps “onesexylady@yahoo.com” or “poohbear86@gmail.com” were fun email addresses for you in college, but they will not impress employers. Even if you have a quirky email address for your personal emails, create a professional one for your job search. Keep it simple for employers by using your first and last name or a similar combination.

Hobbies
For most people, your hobbies are in no related to your professional career. The only reason to include them would be if they demonstrate additional experience that qualifies you for the position. For instance, if you are an amateur photographer in your spare time and you’ve won awards or had photos published, this would be helpful to include when applying for a position as a newspaper photographer.

Irrelevant Jobs
Most experts recommend listing work experience that goes back 10 years. If you other experience in your past that relates to the position, you could mention it as well. However, unless you a new grad without other experience to offer, you don’t need to list your high school gig as a cashier or restaurant server.

Personal Information
Employers do not need to know personal information such as your age or marital status. In fact, when I’ve worked with clients who were worried about age discrimination I’ve suggested they remove graduation dates from their résumé. The important information is what type of degree you earned, not when it was awarded. Also, unless you are sending headshots to a modeling agency or trying to land an acting gig, please don’t include a photo.

References
I’ve seen people provide a complete list of references, and I’ve also seen them list “References available upon request” on their résumés. Neither of these are necessary. References typically only matter once you are chosen for an interview. An employer will ask you for them if and when they are needed. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t type them up and have them ready to provide; they just don’t need to be included with your résumé.

Published by Career Coach Belinda

Though one of my passions is career coaching, my day job is in the marketing field. Over the last 20 years, I have written news and feature stories for television, magazines and websites. I enjoy producing engaging, interesting content – stories that get tweeted, shared on Facebook, discussed between friends over a cup of coffee, or posted on the refrigerator as an inspiring reminder.

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