Let’s get right to the list so you can fix that resume and start getting interviews!
Dates of employment more than 15 years ago
An objective statement
In its traditional format an objective is extremely vague and tells the employer only what you hope to gain. It typically sounds something like this: To use my education and years of experience within an organization that offers growth and advancement opportunities. Extremely vague and useless!
Reason for leaving
The resume is not the time or place to discuss why you left your last position—or why you’re seeking a new one. This is better left for the interview.
First- and third-person references
Resumes are correctly written in implied first-person without the “I” statements. So leave off any “I, me, and my” references or any “Mr. Smith” did this and that, and just state in an impactful way what you actually did.
Marriage status, birth date, social security number—all information that U.S.-based employers do NOT want to see. Leave it off the resume.
Most job seekers should never put a photo on their resume. HR has been trained by their legal departments for years that this can be a minefield for discrimination and should be avoided. That being said, in some careers it’s OK, and actually expected. Examples could include: entertainment industry (modeling, acting), broadcasting/journalism, real estate, and consulting/self-employment when marketing to potential clients.
Unless it was a 4.0 and you graduated within the last three years, I wouldn’t bother including it. Most employers won’t look for it or use it as a basis for an interview decision.
Responsible for/Duties included
The use of action verbs on your resume is much more effective and impactful. Avoid passive phrases—especially the two listed above—that sound more like a job description.
Have something you think should never find its way onto a resume? Share it with me in the comments below!
P.S. I’d love to meet you on Twitter here.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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