5 Things NOT to Put on a Resume


Remove These Elements from Your Resume Immediately!

Recruiter called?

Need to edit your resume and send it off quickly?

These five resume features are known to make recruiters cringe, so make sure to delete them before you hit submit!

Five Things Not to Put on Your Resume

1) Photo

“Should I put a photo on my resume?” In the United States, the answer is no.

By law, companies need to prove that their hiring processes are free of discrimination.

By including a photo on your resume, you’re opening up the company to proving that there was no discrimination in the areas highlighted below. Most companies don’t want to deal with the potential liability.

“Employment Discrimination laws seek to prevent discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, physical disability, and age by employers. Discriminatory practices include bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, compensation, retaliation, and various types of harassment.” – Cornell Legal Information Institute

The only instance in which you might include a photo is if you are applying for roles where your physical appearance is a part of the hiring criteria (such as acting or modelling, for example).

2) “I,” “Me,” and “We”

Never include the words “I,” “Me,” or “We” on your resume.

Although your resume is a personal marketing document, it should always be written in the third person.

Third-person writing makes you sound more professional and generally takes up less space, allowing you to fit more valuable information onto the page.

3) Fancy formatting and graphics

Keep your resume formatting classy and conservative.

Many online resume builders that promise to deliver sleek, modern resumes end up creating documents that aren’t taken very seriously by recruiters.

These graphic resumes often include bold colors, multiple columns, creative fonts, and symbols that allow you to rate your skills on a 1-5 scale.

While they may look cool, they can put you at a disadvantage for two reasons:

1) They make look like you’re trying too hard

2) Applicant tracking systems can have a hard time pulling information from them

Let your skills and experience speak for themselves and stick to a traditional resume format.

Recruiters are hiring you based on your ability to do the job – not on your ability to put together an Instagramable resume!

4) Objective

When you submit your resume for a given position, your objective is to land an interview for that role, right?

We’ll assume so.

Including an objective on your resume does not add any value, and recruiters no longer expect to see them.

We recommend saving the space and using it to add additional information about your skills and experience.

5) References

You do not need to include references on your resume or say that “references are available upon request.”

Recruiters generally ask for references later in the hiring process, and they assume you will have a few to provide when they are requested.

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About the Author

Matt 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 observed what drove the decision making of recruiters and hiring managers first-hand, noting that qualified candidates were frequently denied interview opportunities due to poorly written documents.

At Resume Pilots, Matt combines his solid 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 currently works with applicants ranging from CEOs to recent graduates and has been writing resumes for over eight years.

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