Your résumé is yours: it briefly describes your education, qualifications, and experience and should be unique—just like you. But there are a few guidelines you should follow to make sure your next job application goes as smooth as possible. Here’s a list of 10 things to never include in your résumé:
1. Your Close Up
Avoid adding photos of yourself on your CV. Alison Doyle explains, “The rationale for excluding photos has been to protect employers from allegations of discrimination based on race, age, weight, gender, attractiveness or personal style.” You don’t want a hiring manager to not hire you because they consider including a photo inappropriate. One exception to the no-photo rule would be if you’re a model or an actor; then you’re good to go.
2. Your Physical Characteristics
For similar reasons of not including a picture of yourself, avoid including physical characteristics (e.g., height, weight, etc.) about yourself. Doyle argues, “Like a photograph, including your physical characteristics on a resume opens the door to possible accusations of discrimination against the company. Companies, therefore, prefer that you do not include any physical descriptors.”
3. The Word Résumé
The hiring manager should be able to recognize your résumé without you needing to put that as the title. Instead, make sure your name is clearly visible and prominent.
4. An Objective
You have limited space because your résumé should only be one page. Why take up valuable space with an objective? Jacquelyn Smith and Rachel Gillett explain, “If you applied, it’s already obvious you want the job.” So skip the objective.
5. Irrelevant Job Experience
Avoid including irrelevant job experience. Dawn Dugan explains, “Sure, the summer after freshman year you spent as Harry’s Hot Dog Hut mascot was the best ever. But unless you’re applying to wear the Gorilla suit for the Phoenix Suns, leave it out.” Instead, you’ll want to make it clear to the hiring manager why you’re including the experience in the bullet points below each job experience listed.
6. No Results
Rather than not showing results of your job experience, be sure to include what you’ve accomplished. Tom Mangan argues, “Your resume has to go beyond saying which jobs you’ve done: It must establish what you’ve accomplished on those jobs. Many applicants miss this key distinction.” Here’s where you can include stats and numbers of what you did great at previous jobs. These details will help you stand out in the crowd.
7. References Upon Request
Maybe you’ve seen the line “references upon request” at the bottom of a résumé before. Ditch it. According to Ashley Stahl, “It’s implied that you have professional references who can speak on your behalf.” But do have references who can vouch for you in case a hiring manager asks for those specifically.
8. Your Past or Current Salary
Don’t include your past or current salary on your résumé. Liz Ryan states, “It is easy to think that you have to hand over all kinds of personal information on your resume or in the process of applying for a job. Don’t do it!”
9. Unprofessional Email Addresses
Avoid your old email address from high school or college, like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Amanda Augustine suggests, “Do yourself a favor and sign up for a free address with a provider like Gmail that’s reserved exclusively for your job-search and networking activities.” It doesn’t take long to sign up for a new email address, and it will definitely make you appear more professional.
10. Grammatical and Spelling Mistakes
Because your résumé is only one page, you want it to be free of grammatical and spelling mistakes. Richard McMunn argues, “Bad grammar immediately shows carelessness and laziness. The last thing you want a potential employer to feel you are will be verified immediately once a mistake like this is found.” Consider hiring a freelancer to help you create a mistake-free résumé.
I’d love to create a customized résumé to help you land your next big job. Interested? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.