5 Things You Should Never Put On Your Resume


Whether you’re new to the job market or reentering it after a long period of employment, there’s one very important fact you should be aware of – resumes are not the simple piece of paper they used to be. After all, you still fill out an employment application, so all that carefully included information about years worked and old supervisors’ numbers doesn’t belong there anymore. And the tricks of the trade that used to get you noticed in a good way now just get you noticed in a bad way. For example:

1) Fancy paper, fonts or formatting is frowned on now

Do you want to know why? It’s because we’re even more technologically dependent. It used to be that you could create a resume and know it was going to be seen by the person making the decision, or at least their subordinate. Now you’re lucky if they’ve actually read it before the interview. That’s because now when your resume reaches the person actually opening the letter, most likely they are low level staff or interns. They only care about one thing: can it be read by a scanner? Because your pretty paper is about to be converted to a digital file, and if the OCR can’t scan your bizarre font choice, you don’t go into the database.

2) Personal stuff is definitely TMI

That means no extraneous information like hobbies, irrelevant work experience, how many kids you have, age, religion, or what awards you’ve won (unless, and this is a very big unless, it’s a specific industry award relevant to the position you’re applying for. No one cares you won the college essay contest). Leave it all off. Most of that information is illegal for them to ask anyway, because of anti discrimination statutes. It takes up too much space too, because:

3) Too much text on the page

Resumes should be no more than one page, single sided. In some cases, for example a long academic history in graduate studies and publications, they’ll accept it on two pages, but for the most part, if it’s longer than a single sheet of paper it’s literally graded TL;DR (in internet speak: “too long; didn’t read”). Huge blocks of text are no-no’s, so use short sentences and leave lots of white space on the paper.

4) Lies or exaggerations

Gone are the days of getting away with no one checking on your bona fides. Any decent assistant with a working knowledge of search engines can debunk your fake college, fake graduation year, fake company, or fake experience. Also, businesses talk to each other, and you can bet being a faker on your resume is going to make everyone else leery of interviewing you.

5) Unprofessional email addresses and URLs

No one cares about your music blog. Tell them about it in the break room on your first day on the job, but not in a resume. Likewise, make sure you have at least one professional sounding email address for contact information. You can get a plain one based around your name from any number of free sites, but if you want not to be thrown in the pile of “nope” resumes do not use “freakytiki99” or the like as a contact point.

Keep all these mistakes off your resume and you might make it to the top of the interview list. Good luck!