Typos, grammatical errors, and bad formatting are three possible reasons why an employer could reject your application. But what else might be contributing to your lack of success in getting interviews? Here are 12 things you should consider leaving off your resume:
1. Generic objective statements
Yes, wouldn’t everyone like a “challenging position at a company that provides a great work-life balance and the opportunity for growth”? If you cannot take the time to customize your resume for the specific job you’re applying for, why should the employer read any further?
2. An unprofessional email address
If you still use an email from your younger years, like BeerLover789@gmail.com or PartyAnimal123@yahoo.com, get rid of it. It’s unprofessional and childish.
3. Lengthy description of duties and responsibilities
Instead of writing a lengthy list of what you did in the job, focus on what makes you stand out. State your accomplishments and explain how you added value to your company.
4. Jargon or abbreviations
Always use generally-understood descriptions on your resume unless you are certain it will be read by people who are familiar with the terminology.
5. Gaps in work history
Explain all gaps. If you took a couple years off while your children were young, state this. If you were unemployed for a bit, fill in this gap with volunteer or consulting work.
6. Irritating buzzwords
Words like “mission-critical,” “traction,” “synergies,” and “foster” are simply annoying and greatly overused. Under no circumstances should they find their way into your resume or cover letter.
7. Where you live
It’s highly unlikely any employer is going to be sending you anything by mail and it could introduce the risk of economic profiling or an assumption about the length of your commute. Only include your name, email, cell number, and link to your LinkedIn profile.
8. Political or religious affiliation
Unless you are applying for a job within a political or religious organization, avoid mentioning any involvement you might have with these organizations.
9. Reason why you left previous jobs
This will come up during the interview and you can discuss it then. If you are forced to fill in this blank in an online portal, simply list something like “career advancement” as the reason.
10. Salary history
Any salary discussion is best left until later in the hiring process. Salary is a process of negotiation and revealing your salary history too early could put you at a disadvantage.
Providing references in advance means that the employer could call one before you even know if you want the job. This could be embarrassing especially if your references are connected with your current employer.
12. Lies, exaggerations and embellishments
Pretty much everything you state on your resume can be verified. If you are hired and it is later discovered that you were untruthful on your resume, you could be fired “for cause,” which usually means you receive no notice or severance pay.