What Are the 10 Most Useless Resumes According to Employers?

Nancy Anderson
Posted by

Are you searching for employment with a useless resume? If so, your document has a high likelihood of ending up in a recruiter’s shred pile. Review this list of the 10 things that can make a resume useless, and adjust your resume to ensure it doesn’t meet any of these criteria.

1. Too Long

It's not uncommon for job recruiters to receive dozens of resumes for one open position. Reading through all of these documents is a time-consuming process, and many resumes end up in the shredder because they're simply too long. Make sure your resume isn't longer than two pages, but aim for one page.

2. Contains an Objective

If you submit a resume to an employer, your obvious objective is to land the job. You don't need to state this information. Also, objective statements are considered outdated. Create a career summary instead.

3. Too Fancy

Employers often view decorative paper, fancy fonts and colored inks as distractions. Some employers even consider fancy resumes to be a tad bit unprofessional. Keep your resume simple; use plain white paper, a standard font and black ink.

4. Contains Nonrelevant Work Experience

Don't waste your employer's time by submitting a resume that lists irrelevant work experience. Make sure your document is tailored to the position you're applying for and that the experience you list demonstrates your ability to perform the job.

5. Stuffed With Keywords

It's essential to ensure you have relevant keywords and phrases in your resume, but don't go too far. Stuffing your document with keywords in order to get past application trackers is a trick employers are very familiar with and greatly frown upon.

6. No Social Media Links

If your resume doesn't have at least one social media link, employers might think you're not up-to-date with technology or have something to hide. At the very least, your document should point employers to a professional LinkedIn account.

7. Lists Your Hobbies

Employers are generally unconcerned with what you do in your spare time. Unless your hobbies directly relate to the position, don't list them.

8. Too Little White Space

In your quest to make your resume two pages or less, did you cram a ton of information together? If so, it's time for a revise. Resumes with too little white space are very difficult to read and digest. They usually look pretty bad as well. Use standard line spacing to ensure easy readability.

9. Outdated

If you still have your job from high school or your skills using Microsoft Office 2005 listed on your resume, it's time for an update. It's important to continuously update your resume as you gain skills and experiences, even if you're not on an active job search.

10. Contains Photographs

Unless you're seeking a career as a model or actress, don't include your photograph. The majority of employers are interested in your skills qualifications, not your looks.

Don't ruin your chances of landing a great job by submitting a useless resume to a prospective employer. Your resume is the most important document in your job search arsenal, so make sure it's always up-to-date, relevant and free of anything employers deem useless.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Mike B thanks for your comment. Certainly some people have more experience than others. But, the rule of thumb is to try to keep it to one page and only include the past 10 years. In your Skills Inventory section, make sure that the skills you are listing are still current. Remember, your resume is probably going to run through an applicant tracking software (ATS) prior to any human seeing it. If it doesn't score high enough, it will be saved in a data bank of resumes - typically for 6 months to a year and then discarded. Sorry I know that sounds cold but this is the way most companies work today. All the best.

  • MIKE B.
    MIKE B.

    There are serious problems with this "advice" for older, established, technical workers in particular. Any time I attempt to submit only two pages, I end up leaving out half of the relevant position details (and get asked for them later).
    My personal solution: submit a CV, and call it that. Alternatively, submit a skills invnetory plainly labeled as such. And always be prepared to provide something in more complete detail before asked for it. (Electrons are cheap, and when your strengths are measured in depth of experience, you must find SOME method of showing that depth.)
    One additional caveat: whatever social media links you provide, make certain their content matches your resume claims!

Jobs to Watch