We all know that resumes are our #1 job search tool. You need a great resume to get a great job. That said, even the most intelligent people can make major mistakes on their resumes, and one big mistake is putting something on your resume that would be better left on the cutting-room floor, so to speak. Here are eight of the most common things people put on their resumes that they should have left off:
1. TMI: Too Much (Personal) Information: Your birth date, marital status, religion, nationality, weight: Many people still put these on their resume. Okay, maybe not their weight. But nowadays they’re usually all equally inappropriate.
2. “References available upon request.” Too obvious! Hiring managers know you have references and they know they can request them. Leave this off.
3. The reason you left your last job. No one needs to know how you didn’t get along with that nasty woman in Accounting, or that you were allergic to the carpeting. The less said the better. But you might want to have a strategy for explaining this at the interview.
4. What this company can do for you: They don’t care! They don’t want to hear how you hope a career with them will provide you with a challenging learning experience. That’s bo-oring! They want to know what you can do for them. It’s your resume’s job to show them how much they need you.
5. Lies: Lying on your resume may get you an interview, or even a job. But eventually, the truth will come out. Once they find out that you didn’t really go to Harvard (or even graduate from high school), or that “fluently bilingual” really means you can barely communicate in your own language, let alone anyone else’s, you will lose all credibility, and possibly your job. Plus, it’s just good to be ethical.
6. Hobbies and Interests – It’s great that you love to crochet tea cosies, collect Battlestar Galactica figures and attend Renaissance fairs, but unless it’s somehow relevant to the job, don’t put it on your resume.
7. Spaghetti sauce, coffee, lipstick: Never the best way to go. Get a nice leather case to hold your pristine resumes, and look like the professional you are. (Or hope to be.)
8. How much money you want to make: There’s a place for discussing salary, and this isn’t it.
Leave these things off your resume, do some research to find out what things you should put on it, and you’ll be well on your way to having a job search tool you can be proud of.
Lorraine E. Wright – www.21stcenturyresumes.ca