What Not to Put on a Resume: The Complete Guide

Reading a Resume

Did you know 75% of resumes are weeded out by software before ever reaching a hiring manager? 

The software scans all resumes submitted, and will automatically exclude resumes that include things like irrelevant information, poor format, and unnecessary design. If you are part of the 25% of people who pass this scan, you then have to impress the hiring manager with grammatically correct information that shows you are a good fit for the position. 

While this may seem like an impossible-to-beat system, with just a few tweaks you can get your resume noticed and score that interview for your dream job. If you are creating or refreshing your resume, here is a list of what not to put on a resume.

Personal Information

Personal info on a resume is not ideal because hiring managers should be making their decision based on your experience, not your demographics. Avoid putting your age, address, nationality, gender, religion, marital status, etc. on your resume. 

Hobbies and Interests

One of the things not to put on a resume is your creative hobbies and interests. While at some point, the hiring manager will want to know more about you, your resume is not the time to point out anything that is not relevant to the position you are applying for.

Career Objective

At one time, listing your career object was the thing to do but that has since become vintage advice. Career objectives tend to be vague and not relevant to anything at all so it’s best to leave them off your resume. Consider adding a strong summary statement or a strong cover letter instead.  

Old And/Or Irrelevant Job History

If 10 years ago you had a summer job as a dog walker and today you are applying for a project manager position, you don’t need to add dog walker to the experience section. Include recent job history that is relevant to the position you are applying for. This also applies to personal awards on your resume that do not add to the experience you need to qualify for the position. 

Fancy Formatting

Avoid using formats that are distracting from the information you are providing. Your resume is a quick and easy way for a hiring manager to figure out if you are a fit for the position. Adding multiple fonts, photos, and other distracting elements will hinder the hiring manager from focusing on important information. 

You can use resume format templates from Adobe Sparks to make sure you are presenting yourself in an interesting, yet professional, way. 

Multiple Pages

Ideally, your resume should fit on one page. Sending a multi-page document to a hiring manager is a sure way to have your resume overlooked in favor of a shorter, and more succinct submission. If your information does not fit into a single page, review your resume to make sure you have included the most pertinent information. 

What Not to Put on a Resume: The Bottom Line

By implementing these tips for what not to put on a resume, you can give yourself the edge and submit a standout resume that will take you to the next step in the hiring process.

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