Don’t Put That on Your Resume! 5 Things to Avoid
When you’re looking for a new job, your resume is crucial. By now, you should know that in order to stand out from the pool of applicants and actually manage to have your resume read, you need to give it a face lift. This means that long (more than 2 pages) resumes and documents that are overly personalized with crazy fonts and backgrounds are a thing of the past. These days, your resume has to present a streamlined picture of who you are as an employee. Today’s resume is much more of a marketing tool than it is a biography of your professional life.
That being said, here are 5 more things you shouldn’t put on your resume:
Unrelated Job Experience: If you have been working in a specific industry for some time, there is no need to include any job experience that isn’t relevant. If you’ve changed your career field recently, include your most recent employment, then all of your related jobs. If you don’t have much to list, you can add your last job before you changed careers. Anything more than that is simply too much information. A prospective employer doesn’t want or need to know about the part time job you had 2 years ago – unless it’s relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Non-Professional Achievements: When listing any awards or achievements on your resume, be sure that they are professional awards or career achievements. It’s also important to only add achievements that are actually things you earned. For example, being in the Homecoming Court at your college or belonging to a fraternity or sorority aren’t achievements. While they are interesting and are likely to be things that you’re proud of, they don’t have a place on your resume.
Physical Descriptions or Photos: When you are using professional networking and career sites, like Beyond.com, you will probably want to upload a professional looking headshot on your profile. Aside from that, you should never add a photo to your resume or mention your physical characteristics. A hiring manager doesn’t want to know that you spend hours in the gym or that you have long, flowing hair. When it comes to your job search, always keep things professional.
Odd Hobbies: As a general rule, you shouldn’t list any odd hobbies you have on your resume. In fact, I don’t think that it’s necessary to list your hobbies at all. However, if you think you should or if you’re asked about them during an interview, stick to the more mundane ones like camping or reading. Hobbies like being a part-time clown or magician are typically things you shouldn’t share. However, if you research the company you are applying to and examine their corporate culture, you may find your odd hobby is relevant. For example, if you were applying to a company that sells magic supplies or Halloween costumes, your hobby could make you stand out. Whatever your situation is, use your best judgment and ask yourself if the information helps or hurts.
Things That Should Be Private: Things like age, gender, sexual orientation, religion and race are all things that employers shouldn’t know just by reading your resume. In fact, employers are legally prohibited from asking about them, so you shouldn’t include them on your resume. Some people believe that if they are white, male, Christian and straight, they don’t need the protection from discrimination and will include this information, believing that it will actually help them. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most of the time, those resumes will be tossed out to prevent any sort of hiring bias.
Your resume is just like a commercial. When an employer looks at it, they should be able to skim over it and see why you are the right person for the job. If you clutter it up with unimportant information or make it difficult for them to see why they should hire you, you only lessen your chances at getting an interview and a job. As with anything, there are exceptions, but if it doesn’t sell you, it shouldn’t be on your resume.