Here’s a quick list of things that should never appear on your resume. Unfortunately, I see them all the time.
- A photo
- unless you’re applying for a position as a model or actor.
- A list of references
- You’ll be asked for them at the right point in the process. If you want the company to be impressed by who you know or who you’ve worked with, then put that in the cover letter.
- “References available upon request”
- This is assumed. The reader will not think “This guy has no references available, so toss his resume.”
- An objective
- Objectives are summaries of what you want to get from the company. It doesn’t make sense to start selling yourself by telling the reader what you hope to get out of him. Replace your objective with a 3-4 bullet summary of the rest of the resume. (See more posts about objectives)
- Salary information
- Disclosing your salary history weakens your position when negotiating a salary. It’s also irrelevant on your resume.
- An unprofessional email address
- Email accounts are free from Gmail, so there’s no reason to use your “firstname.lastname@example.org” account for professional correspondence.
- Meaningless self-assessments like “I’m a hard worker” or “I work well on a team.”
- Everyone says those things, so they have no meaning. Instead, the bullets for each position on your resume should give examples and evidence of these assertions. (See more posts about self-assessments)
- Hobbies that don’t relate to the job
- Everyone likes to read and listen to music and spend time with their families. Exception is if the hobby somehow ties to the job or company. If you play guitar and you’re applying to be an accountant for Guitar Center’s corporate office, then mention that you play, even though your job won’t involve guitar-playing directly.
What else do you see on resumes that should never be there?