What to Leave Off of Your Resume


Crafting the perfect resume for your dream job can be intimidating. While you don’t want to tell your whole life story, you do want to give a clear, concise picture of your professional (and maybe some personal) achievements. The list of reasons an employer did invite you in for an interview can be just as long as the list of reasons why he or she did not. It may not be a lack of information or experience, but perhaps you shared the wrong information. Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen by following these guidelines about what to simply keep off of your resume.


1. A picture of yourself: 

Including a photo of yourself on your resume can send the wrong message and is generally considered unprofessional. You’re highlighting your experience and accomplishments in order to impress an employer on your resume – not showing off your good looks or a new haircut. Your personal headshot, along with other unimportant personal details such as your physcial address (nobody connects using snail mail these days), takes up space where other important information should be conveyed. 


2. Irrelevant experience:

If you think back to every single job or volunteer position you held, the list could be insanely long. A general rule of thumb is to leave off any experience you had during high school. In addition to old experience, irrelevant experience is also important to exclude from your resume. If you’re applying for a position in Tech, it’s probably fine to leave off that job you had cleaning houses 5 years ago. Too much information is distracting. According to MSN, this is one of the most consistent complaints from recruiters. You should try to keep your resume to one page; if your resume is longer, time to reevaluate the expereince you have included.


3. Your objective:

You don’t need to mention that you are writing to express your interest in the Customer Service Position with Jim Smith Insurance Agency. It’s unnecessary, unprofessional, and takes up room that you could be using to really sell yourself. Recruiters just want to see that you have the skills to get the job done.


4. Religious or Political Affiliations:

These personal preferences are just that: personal. While a respectable company wouldn’t necessarily hold these opinions/views against you, they just don’t have a place on your resume. When signing your name on a cover letter, avoid salutations such as “God Bless,” or “Have a blessed day,” too.