A professional, well-written resume is key to a successful job search. Generally, the resume should highlight your skills, experiences, work history, and achievements that are relevant to the role you’re applying for.
However, many job seekers commit the mistake of including things that are not only unnecessary but can also break the deal.
What you leave off your resume can be just as essential as what you include.
If you’re polishing your resume for future job seeking opportunities, here are 10 things you should not include to increase your chances of getting the job.
1. A Flowery Career Objective
Beginning the resume with a flowery two-sentence career objective might cost you a lot of great opportunities.
According to Wendy Enelow, co-author of Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed…Get Hired, a career objective gives the employer the notion that you put emphasis on what you want from them when the focus should be put on what the company needs.
If you’re applying for a role that doesn’t exactly meet your objective, you are promptly stating that it isn’t the right job for you, thinning your chances of getting hired.
Instead of being straightforward about what you expect the company to do for you, let them know what you can do for the company. Replace a “i with a “career summary.”
2. A List of Soft Skills
Next to work history and relevant experiences, one of the most significant parts of a resume is the skills section. Here, you should only talk about the hard skills – the list of equipment and software you can operate – not soft skills.
Soft skills are vital. You’d want to let the hiring manager know how excellent you are as a leader, how solid your communication skills are, or how good you are with solving problems. However, these details aren’t the kind of information you enumerate with bullets.
Instead, soft skills should be weaved seamlessly into the work experience portion to drop the employer some hints about your character. Another effective way to flaunt your soft skills is by writing a cover letter.
3. Preschool to High School Education
Your education section shouldn’t reach too far back. If you have a college degree, it’s a given that you have graduated high school so you may not include the details of when and where you attended high school and previous academic years.
There are exceptions, however. If you’d want to feature an event or an achievement from your high school years that may be relevant to the job you’re applying for, then do so.
For instance, if you happened to run a small business when you were in high school and you received recognitions for it, include it in your experience section.
4. Complete Home Address
In a period when every employer can immediately contact a qualified candidate via text, phone call, or e-mail, putting your full address on your resume is not necessary. It would pose a threat for your security and privacy as well.
5. Unprofessional E-Mail Address
The employers are convinced with how great your credentials are. All is well until they saw your e-mail address.
That 10-year old e-mail address you used for your Friendster account can be a deal breaker. It only takes less than 15 minutes to update it. Use your real name or your initials.
6. Character Reference
Writing contact information for character references at the end of your resume is simply a waste of space. Putting “references upon request” is just as bad.
Hiring managers are aware that you have references, such as your previous college professors or former employers. They will ask for these details if needed at an appropriate time.
7. Stylized Fonts
The presentation of the paper matters, but that doesn’t mean you’ll go overboard with the font styles, colors, symbols, and overall page design.
Ditch thy love for fancy yet distracting fonts and go for professional and clean-looking ones. Calibri, Helvetica, Verdana, and Arial are good sans-serif fonts.
If you love serif fonts, you may elevate your old-school Times New Roman with fonts like Georgia, Garamond, or Cambria. Use clean lines and symbols when segmenting information.
8. Text Overload
It is suggested to limit yourself to a one-page resume, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to fit everything on that single page by using a 0.5 margin and an eight-point font.
Don’t overload your resume with texts. Make sure to use lots of white space to make it more readable and interesting. Don’t fill your paper with bullet points either. Bullets are intended to place emphasis on the most important details.
If you “bullet” everything, then you’re implying everything is important, which means nothing really stands out.
9. Company-Specific Jargons
Ruffa used to be a web content writer for Company X, an online marketplace for tours and activities. Her job was to write 10 Merchant Profiles and 10 Activity Profiles which include high-volume keywords for SEO.
Chances are that not all hiring managers are familiar with the terms mentioned. In a nutshell, her job was to provide written materials for the marketplace’s retailers, including their company profiles and product/service descriptions, then optimize them in a way that would appeal to search engines.
When writing for your work history section, make sure you don’t use acronyms, job titles, and other company-specific lingos that may confuse current hiring managers. Use terms that are universal to the industry. If it’s necessary to mention an unfamiliar term, at least provide a brief description.
10. A Picture of Yourself
I know you’re proud of your graduation picture but unless you’re in broadcast journalism, performing arts, and other industries where physical appearance is one of the things you sell, it might be better not to include a photograph in your resume.
According to Jacqui Barret- Poindexter, the owner of Dallas-based coaching firm Career Trend and an executive resume writer, a photo on your resume can potentially lead to discrimination. It would be better to insert a photo on your social media profiles and personal blog where it’s expected by recruiters and hiring managers.