Resume Mistakes: Information You Should Never Include

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When you are searching for a job, your resume is the most important document in your possession, and avoiding resume mistakes can mean the difference between your resume landing in the trash or on top of the “call-for-an-interview” pile.

While you probably have a good idea of what information to include, you might not be aware of information you should not include. Including this information is an easily avoidable resume mistake. The following information needs to stay off your resume.

  • Details about your appearance
  • Irrelevant experiences
  • Non-achievement achievements
  • Odd hobbies
  • Private details
  • Sensitive personal details
  • Unrealistic objective statements

Details about your appearance and why they are a resume mistake

Prospective employers care about what you can do, not what you look like. Touting your muscular physique or shapely curves is not likely to land you an interview. On the same note, never include a picture with your resume unless you are a model or actor. Avoid this resume mistake by keeping statements about your appearance off your resume.

Irrelevant experiences and why they are a resume mistake

Not every job you have worked is relevant to every position for which you apply. In fact, some previous work experience may not be relevant to any future prospects. For example, if you worked during the school year dressing up as the school mascot, that experience is likely irrelevant to any future job you may seek unless the position is similar. Remember that the goal of a resume is to show how your skills and experiences translate into making you a good prospect for a specific position. Avoid this resume mistake by only including what is relevant to each position for which you submit a resume.

Non-achievement achievements and why they are a resume mistake

Achievements are considered something you earn in a professional sense. Community awards for contributions or achievements also fall under this category. However, non-achievement achievements have no place on your resume. Non-achievements include things like winning a guzzling contest, being a member of a sorority or fraternity or being named prom queen. Avoid this resume mistake by keeping your achievements as something you earned in either a professional setting or through community involvement.

Odd hobbies and why they are a resume mistake

While listing a few of your hobbies is acceptable to include on some resumes, stick with hobbies to which most people could relate. Listing strange or odd hobbies is likely to get you a few laughs or raised eyebrows, but unlikely to get you an interview. For example, if your hobbies include mooing or beetle fighting, it is best to leave those off your resume. Avoid this resume mistake by sticking with generic hobbies, such as playing basketball, boating, skiing or scrapbooking.

Private details and why they are a resume mistake

Private details about your life, such as your political or religious affiliation, have the potential to be controversial depending on the views of the company to which you apply or the person who is reviewing your resume. Likewise, including information about your sexual orientation or whether you have children is a bad idea. Avoid this resume mistake by omitting private details about your life that have the potential to influence a resume reviewer’s opinion of you.

Sensitive personal details and why they are a resume mistake

While sharing information about your past experiences, your skills and your accomplishments is vital to landing a job interview, sharing sensitive personal details is not. When you submit a resume for review, you have no guarantee or idea of how the information contained on it is protected. Avoid this resume mistake by keeping your social security number and other sensitive personal details off your resume.

Unrealistic objective statements and why they are a resume mistake

While you might set your sights high, you discredit yourself when your objective statement contains unrealistic aspirations or overconfident statements. For example, claiming you plan to be the next Warren Buffett is the quickest ways to ensure you do not receive a call for an interview. Avoid this resume mistake by creating a realistic and believable objective.

Avoiding these resume mistakes is as important as including the right information on your resume, such as your accomplishments, skills, work experience and education information. In the same way that omitting important information is more likely to land you an interview, these resume mistakes are more likely to ensure you do not land one.