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5 Dumb Things You Should NEVER Put on Your Resume

by Jeremy Holcombe

Many of us will be updating our resumes for the upcoming year. Whether you are looking for your first job, looking for a new job, or simply making sure your resume is up-to-date, there are several things you should NEVER put on your resume.

You’ll find all types of advice, tips, and tricks out there when it comes to resume writing. While there are certain things you can do to make sure you get noticed more, a good work history will speak for itself, and get you noticed by more companies looking to hire.

There are certain things though that you should NEVER put on your resume. When you are doing your yearly resume updates, make sure that the following items are NOT integrated into your resume.

These Should NEVER be on Your Resume

Your Age: Hiring managers want to know what you can do for them and how you will be able to do it. They don’t want to know how old you are.

Darlene Zambruski, managing editor of ResumeEdge.com and JobInterviewEdge.com, advises against:

  • Listing professional experience more than 15 years old.
  • Providing an exact number of years of professional experience in your opening summary.

It is against the law for an employer to ask about your age in an interview, so why even draw any attention to it?

Listing Your Tasks or Duties Without Results: You will see this mistake on a majority of resumes out there. Listing your tasks and/or duties on a job without listing concrete results is a definite red flag. Just because you had these tasks and duties doesn’t mean you did them well. Stay away from this unless you can provide results as well.

Explanations of Anything Negative: Surprisingly enough many of us have done this on our resumes. We describe something negative that happened and then go into detail about why and what happened. Stay away from this. The time to do any explaining about things like this is during the interview process, so save it for then.

Every Job You Ever Had: This is a huge mistake when developing a resume. Hiring managers already don’t look at your resume for very long, so why bore them to death by listing every job you have had over the last 25 years? A good rule of thumb is to only list jobs 10 years back. In some cases you may run it back as far as 15 years, but don’t go any further back than that.

Personal Details and References: Things like your marital status, your race, your sexual orientation, and hobbies can have no legal bearing on whether or not you get a job — so they should NEVER be included on a resume. Employers shouldn’t care about these things; and it’s none of their business anyway. Also, as most resumes are sent electronically these days, never include your social security number on anything.

References should never be on a resume either. They should be kept on a separate sheet, and brought into an interview. When they are requested, then you hand them over.

Updating and building a resume may take time, but doing it right will get you looked at more quickly and more often by prospective employers. Make sure you putting these definite red flags on your resume.

A Few More Quick Resume Tips

  • Make sure your resume is free of spelling and grammar errors. Check and double-check this.
  • Don’t list your salary history unless the employer demands it.

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