Remove These 11 Things From Your Resume

John Krautzel
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When preparing your cover letter and professional resume during your job search, it's important to stay on top of industry trends. Employers usually look for something different in resumes and application materials that go beyond what a general template includes. Craft a resume that captures the attention of hiring managers by removing these 11 things from your document.

1. Non-Industry Jobs

When crafting your professional resume, only list jobs and duties that are relevant to the position for which you're applying. Include detailed achievements and skills directly related to the job to keep the employer's interest.

2. Clichés

Stand out from other candidates by eliminating clichés or overused phrases, such as "team player" or "enthusiastic worker," from your resume. These phrases don't mean anything to the employer and take up space you can use to provide more detailed examples of your work.

3. Abbreviations

Avoid using acronyms or abbreviations that are not well-known within the industry so that your professional resume is concise and clear.

4. Bulky Paragraphs

Offer information about your qualifications and experience in a format that is easy to absorb. Instead of writing lengthy paragraphs, use bullet points so the key information is easy to identify.

5. False Information

Employers do check references and perform background checks, so make sure your professional resume and cover letter includes details that are accurate, honest and free from exaggerations.

6. Complex Words

There's no need to impress an employer with an expansive vocabulary. Keep your wording concise, and avoid words that are complex, especially if you can use simpler words.

7. Objectives

The days of including an objective on your professional resume are long gone. Clearly, if you are applying for a position, your objective is to get the job. Use this space to expand more on your qualifications.

8. Unprofessional Profile Names

Prior to crafting your resume, change your email and web addresses to names and domains that are professional. Try reserving your first and last name versus including an odd-sounding email on your application materials that could taint your credibility.

9. Hobbies

Stick to professional skills and experience when submitting application materials versus including personal information, such as hobbies. Unless the hobby is relevant to your ability to complete the job duties, leave it off of your resume.

10. Salary Information

Discussions about salary requirements should be reserved for after you are offered or a job or at the end of an interview. Avoid including your current or former salaries on your resume, as this might disqualify you for consideration.

11. Job Loss Details

Never include details or explanations about why you left a previous position on your professional resume. An interview is the appropriate time to offer such explanations.

Concise application materials help to increase your employment opportunities. Refrain from including irrelevant information on your professional resume, and stick to concrete examples of your success in the industry.

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  • Steven V.
    Steven V.

    No employment, this sucks

  • Shaundas Reason
    Shaundas Reason

    thank you letter

  • robyn s.
    robyn s.

    This is nice...Keep it up!

  • Terry Hoffman
    Terry Hoffman

    Regarding objectives, simply write in this section the job you are applying for and the job number if one is listed, "Training Specialist (#12345). The next section could be for Qualifications (extrapolated from the job posting itself to capture the items in two or three words - and make 2 or 3 columns. Then, in the Professional Work Experience is where you go into detail using bullets about what you listed in the qualifications - all of which is taken directly out of the job posting. Do not add anything that you have not had experience with to avoid lying on a resume which will come back to bite you later.

  • Julie C.
    Julie C.


  • Janette N.
    Janette N.

    Good,very good.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the comments. @Patricia Huff thanks for your question. Everyone will have an opinion here but, if you can get away with leaving the gaps, you can always explain it on your cover letter. If not, then you can add the non-relevant jobs but don't really go into detail. Such as Temporary Sales Associate, Forever 21, Nov 2017 - Dec 2017. Just list it and nothing else, if you can. I know that many apps require you to fill in every field so you would have to put something in there - even if you only included one task. But, if you do have to include non-pertinent job info, make sure that it's quantifiable/measurable, if you can. @Germaine McFarland thanks for the great comment. Everyone asks the same questions but, unfortunately, there aren't any straight-forward answers. As I mentioned to Patricia, just try to include a non-applicable position in as a place holder, if you can get away with that. I know - it's the same as what came first, the chicken or the egg. It's the same with job hunting. You see a posting for an entry-level paralegal position only to find out that "entry-level" is a term that shouldn't have been included when you see that they want so many years experience. One thing I would consider is going back to my school to see if they can help get me placement. Do you know anyone who has gotten a position as a paralegal? Get in touch with them and let them know of your plight. Maybe they know of a position. You could also try going in blind - sending a resume to a company even though they don't have a posting. What about through LInkedIn? Have you tried contacting anyone at a firm where you really want to work? What about networking events in your area? Job Fairs? Asking around? Talking it up with family and friends. It's amazing how many jobs are found through so and so who knows so and so! All the best!

  • Elizabeth V.
    Elizabeth V.

    I will remove the objective and non-industry early employment history from my current resume

  • Patricia Huff
    Patricia Huff

    If I leave out assignments not in the target industry sector, it would create gaps in my resume

  • Germaine McFarland
    Germaine McFarland

    All very good advice. But tell me please, in this day of contract jobs (long and short term) how do you get major company's to see you as a truly viable candidate for a position they have that you qualify for? I applied for a position with a major company in my area and was told that even though I had the experience, I'd had too many short term jobs. What is a person suppose to do, not work? Bills have to be paid regardless, and if you can not find work in your desired career, you have to do something. And tell me another thing if you will, please. Why do companies not only want you to have the education and so many years of experience. When you try to get the job (even entry level) to begin building the years of experience you still cannot get hired? I have wasted not only finances, time and effort, to become a paralegal and no one would hire me. I made not only the Dean's List multiple times while taking classes, I was on the President of the school's List several times. I was told that if you don't find a job in your chosen career within two years, your educational efforts were for naught. Okay, I'm done venting. As a footnote, I agree with the majority commentors.

  • Cedric M.
    Cedric M.

    Work from home

  • Vivian H.
    Vivian H.

    Good helpful suggestions

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the great comments. @Dennis N - so true - one size does not fit all. However, on a job site such our ours, you have to speak in generalities because our reach is global - not just in the US. And even in the US, what one companies want to see, another one doesn't. So yes - always do the legwork by checking out the company. Check them out here on our site or on other sites likes Facebook,LinkedIn and even Glassdoor. @Denise F - thanks for the comment. Yes, it's true that they can find out our age simply by looking at our social media accounts (which they do by the way). @Janet B - you can include unrelated jobs on your resume - just as kind of a placeholder, without giving much information. You can write Customer Advocate, Nexxt,com, From Date to Date: and then one or two things that you accomplished and then move on. You don't want to use up too much space for unrelated tasks. Or you could divide your resume - putting Pertinent Work Experience first and then Other Work Experience under that - although that can be confusing sometimes. I would just suggest that you include it like I indicated above but just don't expound upon it. Remember, hiring managers don't want to spend the time reading a 2+ page resume. They just want to know what you can bring to them for the open position.

  • Dennis N.
    Dennis N.

    There is some great information in this article but it lacks one important piece of advice: know your audience. Each of the points in this article are generalizations, what applies for one company may be bad advice when submitting to another company. As an example: I have a friend who is a hiring manager and actually want to see hobbies on a résumé! Her reasoning is that the company wants employees who are not just worker bees and have interests outside of work. Right or wrong, that is the company line. I am a contractor in the health care field. Most recruiters only want to know a couple of things about me - what certifications I have, how long have I been doing this, and what is my rate. The résumé I send to a recruiter differs wildly from the résumé I would send to a company I want to work full-time for. If you really want a certain position at a specific company, do some research about what the people who will be hiring you are looking for in the way of your résumé, cover letter, dress for interview, etc. How do you get that information? Call them and ask! I have never had anyone deny me this information and have even received compliments that I was sincere enough to do some legwork prior to applying (even this could backfire in certain situations). The hiring process varies so widely in today's market that there is no definitive road map for applying, no "one size fits all" résumé. Some companies could not care less about your résumé and only want the specific information requested in their application. Others view including a cover letter as a colossal waste of time, some won't even look at a résumé without one. Some companies only use HR people to do the most rudimentary, initial research on prospective employees, allowing the manager and (future) coworkers that you would be working with, to do all the interviewing and make the hiring decisions. Others have specific requirements for hiring and you won't get to meet your manager and coworkers until your first day on the job. The moral to this (rather long winded) story is that if you really want the job you either need to be lucky or make your own luck. If you are looking for something specific don't wait for it to come to you. It is called "job hunting" meaning you are the predator and the company you want to work for is the prey!

  • Denise Figueroa
    Denise Figueroa

    Thanks for the information. Question: My local Workforce 1 Career Center advised that I could list volunteer work on my resume. I volunteer at my local food pantry. It's not paid work but it's current and it involves customer service relations. I also have a problem with employers not being able to ask your age, I am 60 years old and looking for work. It's picked up on your resume obviously with your years of experience. Few employees want to hire a person of my age bracket. I have gaps in my resume to no fault of my own, employers keep rejecting my application or just not getting back to me. I can guarantee it's my age and not lack of experience. Also job alerts (which I've updated several times on your website) do not give the job searchers what he or she needs. Ex: Office Assistant, no more than 5 miles from zip code 10301. I get out of state office assistant position as far as California. That would be some commute from my zip code of 10301, I believe that is well pass the 5 mile radius. By the way I have searched for jobs on many websites including Craigslist which I was advised to stay away from that'll give you an idea of how much I need a job. Thank you for your time.

  • Janet B.
    Janet B.

    Putting only the jobs and duties you've had to qualify for the position you are applying doesn't work. They want to know your job history so if you've worked in other areas you can't very well omit them otherwise they will wonder where you've worked in between and most likely won't even call you for an interview.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the comments. @Robin H it is probably true that not all of these would be applicable when working with technical recruiters. This article is meant to be general in content. If the application requires you to input a reason why you left a job, I guess you have to do so but I am not sure that is legal. I don't think I have ever given exact answers to that question other than to say that it just didn't work out. I can understand asking for an explanation for gaps but again, that should be very general in nature. They don't need to know our whole life on an application. @Brenda B, I would probably list both. Even though Lyft may not be applicable to a virtual position, it will at least keep you from having gaps in your employment. @Dalen G if you worked as a contractor, then by all means say that - but only if you actually did. Never ever lie on a resume. The world is so much smaller now with all of this technology and it's really harder to lie. One quick check on LinkedIn, Facebook, SnapChat or some other social media and you could be found out. If your reasons for the gap were medical, say it. The bottom line is to always tell the truth because it's too easy for a company to check it out.

  • Robin H.
    Robin H.

    Dealing with technical recruiters and several of these go out the window. And, I have to use a wide variety of online applications where you HAVE to put in why you left and explain all gaps in employment. Recruiters and HR people are looking for certain buzzwords and have no idea what they are talking about. For instance, C programming language has been around about 40 years. C#, C++ and such are all similar and are not significantly different from one another but these people you have to go through need to see each and every variation possible before they match you and give your resume to the person you will be working with.

  • Brenda B.
    Brenda B.

    I've been on disability, but working Lyft and keeping up with my industry as a Board member in a local industry association chapter. Should I list both as work experience? I am looking for a virtual position to accommodate the illness, and I am a boomer, so everything I can do is so, so important!!!!!

  • Dalen G.
    Dalen G.

    How should one address time away from the industry, whether for medical reasons or because you are picky about your job choices? Maybe I should state that I work as a contractor.

  • Sonya R.
    Sonya R.

    Sound nice

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Christina C thanks for your comment. It's tough to get back into the work world - especially after a 10 year absence. Questions - have you done anything to keep up with your skills? Have you done any volunteering? Worked on any in-school projects with your kids? For instance, my daughter worked with the kids on planting and harvesting a vegetable garden. All of these things matter. On your cover letter, I would simply explain, in a sentence or two, why the 10 year absence and then move on. Hope that helps.

  • Christina C.
    Christina C.

    I have a been out of the workforce for several years after being a stay at home mom. In addition to a ten-year gap in my work experience, I am a baby boomer. Any suggestions for filling in the gap.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Laurie C thanks for your comment. I believe that honesty is the best policy. Not sure what the policy is under the new White House Administration but under the previous administration there was a program called Ban the Box. You should check that out.

  • Laurie C.
    Laurie C.

    What about length of time you are out of work because of incarceration

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