career-advice

Ten Things That Never Belong on a Resume

Matt Glodz
Ten Things That Never Belong on a Resume

Be Sure to Remove These Elements From Your Resume Immediately!

Before you submit your resume, review this list of ten things that should never appear on an executive resume.

While many of these points may seem obvious, you’d be surprised at what we often see on documents that come across our desk! 

Include any of these elements, and you place yourself at risk of being eliminated from the applicant pool.

1) Photo

Do not include a photo on your resume.

It can put some recruiters off, and those who are particularly curious about what you look like will hop on LinkedIn to find out (or even Facebook or Instagram – you never know!). 

2) Personal Details

If you're applying to jobs in the US, you should not include personal details such as your:

  • Birthday
  • Religion
  • Marital Status
  • Driver's License
  • Passport

Such details open the door to potential discrimination, so hiring managers often decide to simply pass on resumes that include them.

3) Unprofessional Email Address

We all have embarrassing email addresses from the '90s, but save these for your personal use.

Your email address should be simple and professional. 

Some version of FirstName.LastName@gmail.com will suffice.

AOL, Hotmail, MSN, and Yahoo email addresses may raise questions about your tech-savviness, so we recommend avoiding them as well.

4) First-Person Writing

Your resume should be written in the third person.

This style is the conventional resume writing standard.

It will also cut down on the number of words you use, which is critical when you're trying to get the most value out of the limited space you have to work with.

5) Objective Statement

Objective statements on resumes are a thing of the past.

Your primary objective is to land an interview, and there are simply much better uses of space.

6) Graphics or Logos

You want to stand out from other applicants - but let your work experience and professionalism speak for themselves. 

We strongly recommend avoiding modern graphic resumes, symbols, or logos.

7) References

You'll likely need to provide references at some stage during the interview process, but you shouldn't include them on your resume

You also don't need to state that "references are available upon request."

Recruiters will assume that you will be able to provide them when asked.

8) Irrelevant Interests

If you have personal interests that are relevant to your target position, you may consider mentioning them on your resume.

Otherwise, play it safe and leave them off: things you do outside the office are better left to be discussed during your interview.

9) Reasons for Leaving 

You should be able to provide a reasonable explanation for why you left each of your positions during an interview.

However, stick to your accomplishments and main responsibilities on your resume.

10) Salary Information

You never want to include your salary expectations or previous salaries. 

This information can be off-putting and even put you at a disadvantage during the salary negotiation process.


About Resume Pilots

Resume Pilots is an award-winning executive resume writing firm and a proud member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. Our previous clients include CEOs and senior executives at the world's leading companies.

As a professional services firm, we take your reputation seriously. We are committed to delivering writing excellence and superior service while operating with integrity and discretion. Recruitment firms we partner with also trust us to consistently deliver quality documents for their clients.

Our writers have studied in the Ivy League and other top-tier universities and have strong writing backgrounds coupled with industry experience.

Here's how we can help you:

Resume, Cover Letter, and LinkedIn Writing Services: If you are looking for end-to-end support, hire one of our professional resume writers to rewrite your documents from the ground up.

Executive Resume Template Downloads: If you plan to prepare your own resume, consider using one of our classic, ATS-friendly resume templates for Microsoft Word.

To learn more about our services, book an introductory call with our founder here or email team@resumepilots.com.


About the AuthorMatt Glodz


Matt Glodz is the Founder and Managing Partner of Resume Pilots and a Certified Professional Resume Writer.

After studying business communication at Cornell University, Matt worked within Fortune 500 companies, where he noted that qualified candidates were frequently denied interview opportunities due to poorly written documents.

At Resume Pilots, Matt combines his business and writing background - which includes prior work for a Chicago Tribune publication - to craft resumes that give his clients the best chance of landing interviews. He works with clients ranging from CEOs to recent graduates and has been writing resumes for over 10 years.

He has been quoted on numerous business and career-related topics in outlets including Business Insider, CNBC, Fortune, Glassdoor, The Ladders, and Thrive Global.


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