5 Things to Leave Off Your Resume

It’s Valentine’s Day today, so in an effort to spend some well-deserved time with my sweetheart, this week’s post comes to you from a fan.   This blog, now in its fourth year of operation, has brought together some excellent job seeker tips and tools for you to use.  The best part?  They’re free.  If you’re interested in guest posting on Campus to Career, please email me your pitch at kirk.baumann@att.net.  All articles should be between 400-600 words in length, relate to the job search, social media, leadership or recruiting, and refrain from promoting links such as freeproducts[dot]com, etc.  Make sense?

Without further adieu, I give you this week’s guest post: 5 Things to Leave Off Your Resume:

Photo credit: Networkingnote

There are many career networking opportunities available for job seekers.  Networking opportunities prove useful however, at some point, you are going to be required to submit one of two documents.  The documents required will be a resume or Curriculum Vitae (A typed summary of your professional and educationalbackground).  Resumes and Curriculum Vitae are documents that should never be considered “finished.”  These two things should be continuously updated in order to properly display pertinent information about your professional and academic careers.  It is highly recommended that resumes contain no more than one page for sometimes, less is more and resume writing proves no exception.  There are certain things that you should leave off your resume.

The following are five suggestions for worthwhile exclusions:

Leave photos off your resume

Discrimination suits prove rampant in the field of Human Resources and employment services.  If someone presents a resume with a picture and that person is not hired, it leaves room to file a discrimination law suit claiming the person was not hired because their picture was not appealing.  Most company Human Resource departments will just throw resumes with pictures away or save them to avoid the discrimination issue altogether.

References Available on Request

This statement should NEVER appear on your resume. Hiring mangers know that you need reliable references during your job search.  Ensure that you have your “reference” list prepared upon request.  You want the list to be updated with the correct contact and professional information.  Do not forget to update your reference sheet before job hunting.  It could prove embarrassing if one of your professional references is contacted and they no longer work at the same company.  This can put uncertainty into the minds of hiring managers and could cause you to not get the job.

Unprofessional email address

Unprofessional email addresses should not be placed on resumes.  Email address such as notsodumbperson@gmail.com or likestoparT@yahoo.com will not impress a potential employer.  It is highly recommended before you start job searches that you create another email address. The address should include a basic first name [dot] last name. Yahoo and Gmail are popular email servers that offer free email accounts. These accounts allow for creating professional email addresses to use for job searches.

BONUS: Don’t forget about LinkedIn! Is your profile filled out? Click here for some great tips from career expert, Emily Bennington.

Posting every job you had since high school

All of us remember working at the local theatre or pizza shop during high school.  You should leave this point out of your resume.  It proves necessary to keep your job history accounted for, but you do not have to list every job you have held dating back to your high school years.  It is essential to determine what jobs in the past proves relevant to the job(s) you are applying for.   Re-read your resume and you should determine if the jobs listed fall into these two categories: Recent and relevant.  If a past-job does not qualify for these categories, leave it out.

Avoid boring and inadequate language

Phrases such as “detail-oriented” and “team player” are no longer phrases that can effectively promote you.  Instead, use terms that describe what makes you a team performer or how you pay attention to detail in making projects and company missions successful.  Keep in mind that the “verbiage” you place on your resume is what catches the attention of hiring managers.  Words do prove effective and can make the difference in obtaining an interview or a letter in the mail stating you are not qualified for the job.

BONUS: Click here for a great article from CareerBuilder regarding resume keywords.

About the author: Wilson Campbell is an HR expert, who specializes in team building and team building activities.  He is also an expert in troubleshooting the concerns and considerations of employees.


6 thoughts on “5 Things to Leave Off Your Resume

  1. Wilson, these are great tips that every job seeker should keep in mind. It’s also important to remember that many employers now use applicant tracking systems, and that getting too fancy with your resume format or fonts (or including a photo) might mean your resume doesn’t get past the system…even if you’re a good fit.


  2. I don’t mind “references available upon request” so much. I think it behaves like a period at the end of at sentence. Basically it says “don’t bother looking to see if there is a second page.” 🙂

    Of course, if that real estate is needed for something else, it’s one of the first things to go.


    1. Gary,

      You have a point, sir. Thank you! I think it’s a matter of preference, just like most features of a resume. It’s all about what makes the most sense for the individual and how they can tailor it to the company or position. Thanks for the comment!



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