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9 Things You Should Never Include On Your Resume

A good resume can do wonders when it comes to getting the job you desire. Your resume represents your professional history, along with other important information about you.

Some resumes are more professional than others and in turn, they get more traction from hiring managers and recruiters. When an employer or recruiter asks for you resume, they are making you a part of their preliminary selection.

If a potential employee’s resume and/or cover letter meet the hiring manager’s criteria and expectations, he can move on to the next step, which is usually a interview in-person or over the phone.

Some resumes are written very well, with all the important information. However, even though you may have included all the vital details, there’s still a chance it contains big mistakes. These “mistakes” can turn-off potential employers and lessen your chances of being hired for the job.

In this article, we take a look at nine things you should never include in your resume

Personal details

If you want to keep your job application objective, do not include personal information. There are several reasons for not adding private information. First of all, nobody cares.

The business environment doesn’t really care (or at least shouldn’t care) about someone’s hobbies, sexual orientations or skin color. Employers and companies only care about productivity and results.

A resume should contain information that helps the recruiter realize that you are a good fit for the company. It needs to tell him that you got the skills that will make the company better and more profitable.

The second reason is: you can negatively influence the recruiter. You can either stumble upon a subjective interviewer or you can just prove how rookie you are by including personal information in your CV. Either way, try to avoid doing so by any means!

Irrelevant job experience

Different job positions require different skills and experience. Naturally, when you are applying for a job, you include all of the skills and experience you have gained over the years that is related (directly or indirectly) to the position. This can include past jobs, education and volunteer experience.

However, a ton of job-seekers include irrelevant job experience on their resume. That hurts their chances of being approved big time, because if they’ve had a bunch of different types of work, it can show how unrelated their skills are to the position they’re applying to.

Try to stick to the point. You should only include past jobs, education and volunteer experience that are related to the job you want to obtain. Emphasize the skills that are normally required for the position and you’ll see better results.


Oh… the lies. A recent CareerBuilders survey interviewed around 2,000 hiring managers in the US and asked them to share the most memorable things that they’ve come across on resumes. The results were extremely funny.

One employee stated that he had been the former CEO of the company he was applying for. Others claimed that they had attended universities that don’t exist and some have even mentioned the fact that they’ve won a Nobel Prize.

These blatant lies will cut you off the list in just a matter of seconds. In my experience, no hiring manager will tolerate lies.

No matter what you do, please don’t stretch the truth or include things that are not true. Interviewers tend to do their research and you’ll be surprised of how much information they can find.

Too much text

Even though the most important part of a resume is the actual information, you should not forget about the visual aspect of your CV. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to look professional. Choose a fairly simply, but eye-catching font and be sure to include some white space to make it look clean and break up the text.

Try to avoid writing long blocks of text; breaking it up with bullets or subheads is a great way to create more white space. And don’t add too much text. Hiring managers and recruiters spend very little time looking at each resume, so you don’t want the format to make it difficult to read or have an overabundance of information.

You should also go for a normal and professional formatting of your document to make it easily accessible when you’re sending it. Whether it’s a PDF, a Word document or a standard paper copy, you just make sure that the formatting looks fine.

Unnecessary buzzwords

Yes, you must impress your potential client, but never go too far. Just like in real life, when we try to impress people by using big elaborate words, we often get caught. They can easily figure out that we’re faking it.

Many employees tend to believe that their vocabulary will influence the employer’s decision. That’s totally wrong. Words like “proactive” or “results-driven individual” are extremely predictable.

A lot of employers realize that these words are thrown into a resume. They also figure out that it doesn’t hold any true value. Never try to make a good impression using the wrong techniques; stick to what’s natural.

That being said, you should pay attention to adding certain words that match the job you are applying for—assuming you possess the skills and experience you are describing. If the company is looking for someone that can multitask and manage large projects, for example, and you have done so at previous jobs, make sure to include that. Same goes with certain programs and certifications. Read over the job posting thoroughly and include your corresponding skills on your resume.

Reasons you left a past job

Again; nobody cares. Imagine if everyone would be adding information about their last work experience, why they got hired, why they got fired, why they left; nobody would get hired!

Employers care more about what the individual has to offer in terms of skills and knowledge. Some people are better at certain jobs, while some are better at others.

Do not talk about why you left your previous jobs on your resume. Period. If the recruiter or hiring manager wants to know this information, they will ask during the interview.

Grammar mistakes

Make sure that you edit your resume before even attempting to send it to your potential employers. Editing and proofreading are necessary if you want to present a clean and professional CV.

If your resume has grammar mistakes, you’ll look like someone who doesn’t even care about the job, who has no intentions of being a professional, and so on. In other words, it proves that you’re not a “good match” for the company.

A Lame objective

If you choose to speak about your intentions and objectives concerning the company, do your best not to be too boring. What I mean by that is that many employees include goals like “Becoming the CEO of the company” or “Increasing the revenues by 700%”.

That’s wrong and you can see it. Be modest at first, but not too modest. Try to go for an appropriate objective.

Resumes are an important aspect of our professional life. They stick with us from the moment we reach an age where we can start working up to the point where our professional careers are over.

If you’re smart, you will take into consideration all of the tips mentioned during the article and get rid of all the unprofessional elements of your CV.


There is no need to include your references on your resume. Even including the statement, “References available upon request” isn’t important because it is expected that if you are asked to provide references that you will do so. These things take up valuable space that could be instead used to highlight all your relevant skills and experience.

About the Author Julie Petersen

Julie Petersen is a blogger who enjoys sharing career and educational tips. She is the author of the Ask Petersen essay writing service reviews blog. Connect with her on her website Ask Petersen.

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