You’ve started creating your resume, you have a record of all your previous roles, you have your start and finish dates, you know your skills and capabilities, you have a list of qualifications and achievements, honors and awards, and you have all the right keywords to use within your text. But is there anything that you should not include on your resume?
You do not need to use pronouns in your resume text. There is no need to use “I” and “Me” throughout the document – in fact this can be irritating for the resume reader. Though correct sentence structure would suggest that you should use these pronouns, the resume is about yourself so there is no need to include them. Instead start each sentence on your resume with a strong descriptive word such as Competent or Accomplished.
Do not include a long list of your hobbies unless you have an interest that is directly relevant to the role. For instance, if you are applying for the position of Head Gardener and you have your own little greenhouse where you grow rare exotic hothouse lilies then by all means include this interest in your resume. Do not include the fact that you like to waterski.
Ensure you are not including off-putting words on your resume or cover letter that may indicate that you could be a difficult personality. Your recruiter is forming an opinion of you in only 6 seconds as they read through your resume. Make certain that you are conveying positivity and professionalism.
Keep the colorful paper, swirly fonts and large creative headlines away from your resume. Whilst you want your resume to demonstrate that you are unique and the best candidate for the role these kinds of creative inclusions are not generally appreciated.
Do not make your resume boring. Long-winded descriptive phrases that are not concise and pertinent only serve to make your resume difficult to read. Use bullet points and short punchy sentences to convey your meaning and intent throughout the text of your resume.
Be careful that you do not copy and paste information from an internet resume template without making changes to customize the resume to your own unique skill-set. There is nothing worse for a recruiter than to be faced with an endless pile of identical resumes. Use a thesaurus to find alternative words and change the format a little to make it your own.
Do not include irrelevant job experience in your resume work history. Yes you may have spent 3 months working in a warehouse over summer back in 1998 but if this has no relevance to the job you are applying for there is no need to include it on your resume.
Ensure you do not include achievements that are not relevant to the professional or community categories. Including an award you received in a pie eating contest is not relevant; including an award you won for services to your local volunteer fire brigade is.