Wait! Before you turn in your resume, have you checked to make sure it doesn't include these three things that could cause your resume to be rejected?
When you set out to write your resume, you often give a lot of thought to what goes into your resume. You've probably collected together all your contact information, your educational background, your work history, and an extensive list of skills. Maybe you even wrote about things like internships, hobbies and interests, publications, awards, certifications, or licenses.
Before you send in your resume, though, there's something else you should think about – what should not appear on your resume. We'll talk about the top three items to omit below.
If you're still in the process of writing your resume, why not check out an online resume builder? These simple online tools allow you to create a professional-looking resume in minutes. ResumeGiants is an awesome resume builder – one that we would recommend.
Top 3 Things Not to Include on Your Resume
According to the job search resource Indeed, there are actually 11 major things that you should avoid including in your resume. We've boiled them down to the top three below, but you can view the full list here.
No. 1: A Photo
Today, many online resume templates include a spot for your photo. And, this is visually appealing. We're used to seeing thumbnail-sized profile photos on social media and even on professional media such as LinkedIn. Maybe you even feel like your document looks more appealing when it features your smiling face.
This, however, can be one of the quickest ways to get your resume trashed by your potential employer. Why?
Many countries, including the United States, have anti-discrimination laws in place to protect people from prejudice and discrimination on the job. These laws state that an employer can't hire or not hire an employee based on their race, gender, religion, political affiliation, national origin, age, disability, or other categories that could result in bias.
Your resume, then, should not reveal any of this potentially bias-causing information. But in a photo, assumptions may be drawn.
If you include a photo on your resume, your employer might worry that at some future date someone could claim that the company practiced discrimination. For example, another employee might claim that you got the job because the employer had a positive bias towards one of the qualities evident in your photo.
To protect themselves from this possibility, many employers will not accept resumes that include a photo.
In rare circumstances, you may be legitimately asked to submit a photo along with your resume. This may be the case if you are applying to an acting or modeling position, or a job that requires extensive background checks and security clearance.
No. 2: Unprofessional Information
Your resume should highlight how professional you are – that you can handle your job adeptly and without distraction.
Be careful of including information on your resume that might make you sound unprofessional. One of the worst offenders is the unprofessional email address.
Perhaps your first email address included something silly, cute, funny, or even shocking. While that's fine for personal communications, you need a professional email address for your resume and other work-related communications.
What should your work email look like? You don't have to buy an expensive domain – the part that comes after the “@” or “at” sign. Instead, use a free email service like Gmail. Create an email address that uses some combination of your first and last name, initials, and perhaps numbers or punctuation if needed. For example, you might write an email address in this way:
Is there any other unprofessional information that you should leave out? Yes. Irrelevant information can make you look silly and unprofessional. We'll discuss irrelevant information in the next section.
No. 3: Irrelevant Information
One definition of “irrelevant” is ‘having no value’ to the subject at hand.
Especially when considering optional resume sections, you should ask yourself, “Does this add value to my resume or my standing as a potential employee?”
If the answer is no, don't include it on your resume.
Deciding what is relevant and what is not can be tricky. Why? Sometimes, information relevant to one job may not be relevant to another.
For example, imagine that you are applying for a summer internship. If you're studying marine biology, your open water scuba certification might be extremely relevant. But, if you're looking into an internship with a political organization, a fashion magazine, or a computer coding startup, your scuba experience is likely much less relevant.
The key, then, is to consider each job or position you apply for individually. Look for keywords in the job posting and try to include them in your resume. Think about how your extracurricular activities, hobbies, and even unique experiences at work may or may not demonstrate that you have the skills you need. Create a customized resume for each application.