7 Things To Leave Off Your Resume

leave off your resumeFine tuning your resume for your job search? Here are a few tips of what to leave off your resume to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward in your job search.


1. An objective statement. Rather, focus on highlighting your primary qualifications in a short summary at the top of your resume. The employer can quickly scan this information and determine whether or not to read the rest of your resume. Most resumes are scanned for five seconds, so you want your best strengths to stand out at the top.


2. Unrelated awards, hobbies, activities, or interests. Definitely include interests and awards that support the position you are seeking as well as the qualities that might be desired in the position you are seeking. However, be sure everything is related to the position you are pursuing. Leave off personal and unrelated information.


3. Lists of duties and tasks for each job. Rather than listing your job description or duties, focus on your key accomplishments in each position. You can optionally start your experience description with a short summary of your position, which might include number of people supervised, $ budget managed, and key areas of responsibility. List your accomplishments or results underneath the description quantifying as much as possible. Use action verbs and select accomplishments that had a large impact on the organization or are most relevant to the position you are seeking.

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4. Excessive experience. Include no more than 15-20 years of experience and leave off anything prior than that.


5. Excessive detail. Your resume is a summary of your experience and should be no longer than two pages (for someone with extensive experience) and one page for entry level or mid-career. Remember, your resume will be scanned in five seconds. If it can’t be summarized in that time it may likely not be read at all.


6. Grammar, spelling, formatting errors. Please proofread your resume several times and have someone else do this for you as well. I’ve reviewed resumes with spelling errors that have also stated, “strong attention to detail.” The errors on the page are contradictory. You are putting your best foot forward with your resume, be sure it’s polished!


7. Heavy blocks of text with no white space or formatting. Employers spend very little time initially reviewing a stack of resumes. Your resume should be scannable. That is, easy to read with key points standing out. Use numbers to quantify accomplishments, bold related job titles and section headings, use the same font throughout, and bullet point accomplishments vs. writing a long block of text.


Read more on how to write a resume.

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Recommended Reading:

resume tipsKnock ’em Dead Resumes: Standout Advice from America’s Leading Job Search Authority (Resumes That Knock ’em Dead)

Resumes are among the most important documents people ever write. And in a competitive marketplace, they matter even more. In twelve simple steps, Martin Yate shows how to craft top-flight professional resumes that showcase applicants’ strengths and demonstrates what they can contribute to employers.


resume tipsExpert Resumes for Career Changers, 2nd Ed

This collection of resumes is aimed at people who are transitioning from one career to another. The down economy has forced millions of people to change jobs or industries in order to stay employed. This book gives strategies as well as 180 pages of sample resumes for successful career changes.


resume tipsThe Overnight Resume, 3rd Edition: The Fastest Way to Your Next Job (Overnight Resume: The Fastest Way to Your Next Job)

The third edition of The Overnight Resume has been completely revised and updated for everyone—from entry level* to the executive suite—who is serious about getting an interview and landing a job.

Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP on Twitter
Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP
Rachel’s passion is to help people discover their personal gifts and strengths to achieve self-acceptance, create a healthy relationship with food, mind and body, and find meaning and fulfillment in work and life roles. She helps people create nurturance and healing from within to restore balance and enoughness and overcome binge eating, emotional eating, anxiety, depression and lack of career fulfillment.

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