Career Advice Resume & Cover Letter

Getting Hired: 4 Things Your Resumé Should Not Contain

By: Mariah Rogers
May 26, 2022 • 2 min read

With ​​11.27 million current job openings in the US as of February 2022, competition is getting thicker with every viable job out there. How do you stand out from the sea of other candidates vying for the job you desire?

When you write a resumé, think about putting your best foot forward in the least amount of time. What do you want an employer or hiring manager to know about you upfront if you only had a minute or two of their time? Unlike a curriculum vitae (CV), a resumé typically refers to a summary of your relevant credentials and skills, whereas a CV includes more detail.

Contrary to common practices, it’s not advisable to flood your resumé with details, especially if they are immaterial to the job you are applying for. Instead, show that you’re a good candidate by carefully filtering what info you think hiring managers need to know and nothing more. It’s always easy to provide additional details when asked for in an interview to make your resumé as concise as possible. 

When updating your resume or making a new one, know what to leave out and what to add. Here are five things your resume should not contain:

1. Vague Job Titles and Descriptions

Employers who look at resumes have to quickly decide if you are the right person they need. If you want them to keep reading, provide valuable keywords in your job titles. If they quickly skim through your resume, at least you gave them an idea of what you used to do through strategically-worded job titles. 

Turn your job descriptions into a list of valuable keywords, just like your job title. Go for bullet points, so details are readable. Use the job descriptions to show how your experience fits in with the company’s goals by giving a one-sentence description of your job.

For example, if you are applying for restaurant jobs, and your past job was in the quality control of all wholesale food items for delivery, you can place “Kitchen Quality Control Manager” as your job title. 

Your job description can say, “Responsible for managing food deliveries for special events and wholesale deliveries, ensuring food items are properly prepared, cooked, packed, and tagged before they are sent out.” 

This is an example of how to concisely give people a preview of the complexity of your previous job, which could pique the interest of a hiring manager looking at your resumé. 

2. Too Much Personal Information

Personal information that has absolutely nothing to do with the work should also be removed, like your age and gender (unless otherwise required), height, weight, religion, status, and the like. You don’t need to include your picture on the resumé unless the application requirements indicate otherwise.

There are labor laws that fight against discrimination in the workplace. Even if you have a disability, your would-be employer has no right to discriminate against you if your condition will not affect your potential job performance. 

3. References

You can take all of the references for your resumé. You don’t have to indicate “References available upon request” either. The hiring manager can simply ask you during the interview or email you about it if they really require that information. 

Remember to ask permission first from your references before providing their contact information to any hiring manager. 

4. Past Salary

You’re applying for a job because you desire a change or a promotion. Your skills make you a suitable contender for the position, so why mention your last pay?

Including salary details makes your application vulnerable to people who will only use it for them to compare offers and negotiate. You don’t want that, especially if you’re just starting out and your past jobs were more about gaining experience, network, and credibility in your industry. 

Conclusion

The way you write your resumé greatly determines its impact on the employer. Think of it as an advertisement that sells you and your strengths. The key is to focus on the present and future. Present yourself as a credible candidate with a summary of your skills and track record, and future employers will know you’re an excellent fit for the position.

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