The Worst Things To Put On Your Resume

With so much riding on a resume, it’s sometimes hard to know what information should stay and what should go. After all, it can be hard to distinguish yourself, market your skills, and outline your history and accomplishments all in one page. But in a competitive job market, that one little page can make or break your job application.

The first rule of thumb for a flowing, glowing resume hearkens back to Strunk and White’s grade-school mantra: “Omit needless words.” Limit your work history to the last ten or fifteen years unless jobs past that point were C-level, and delete any irrelevant jobs such as lifeguarding in the summer of 99. Anything included in your work history should be relevant to the job you are applying for.

Axing unnecessary words should be a rule for your whole resume. Overly wordy, flowery statements and descriptions don’t sound good—instead, they just don’t get read. Streamline your resume from top to bottom with language that’s simple to read and understand.

Unless you’re applying specifically to a political, religious, or other special interest organization, don’t include information about hobbies, political affiliation, race or religious beliefs. Having these in a traditional application will suggest you have a strong bias, which isn’t what employers are looking for.

Salary expectations should also be left out unless they are specifically requested by the employer. Listing a salary range in any application materials could knock you out of the running if you’re too low or too high. Instead, save this conversation for the later stages of the interview process if at all possible, and let the interviewer be the one to bring it up.

If you ever encountered confidential information in a previous position, don’t put it in your application materials. Aside from showing poor taste and judgment to a potential employer, this information could also reach your current or former employer and be grounds for a lawsuit.

If you have ever been fired, don’t outline that on your resume. The resume is an opportunity to market yourself in a positive light, so don’t use it to highlight your faults. However, if you’re asked to explain why you left a job, be honest. Until then, keep it to yourself.

The best rules for any resume are to make the wording and formatting succinct, relevant, and easy to understand.

For more information about XSell Resources call 215-706-4500 or Contact Us.

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