Ten Things Not to Put on a Resume


Things to eliminate from your resume

What Not to Put on a Resume

Here's a simple list of ten things you should never include on your executive resume.

While many of these points may seem obvious, you’d be surprised at what we find 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 generally accepted 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. Take a look at our blog post on the topic here.

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.

As we extensively explain in this blog post, your resume should not be “Instagrammable.”

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.

If you need assistance crafting your executive resume, please email us at team@resumepilots.com to let us know how we can help!

You can also learn more about our most popular service here.





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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