7 Things You Should NOT Include on Your Resume

by Mais Gousous, January 23, 2013

If you’re looking to come out on top in the world of job searches, there are a few key things you need to remember to take your resume-writing skills to the next level. Many people believe that they have to include every single job or detail of their work experience on their resume, but irrelevant information and a cluttered design can cause recruiters to send your resume to the back of the pile.

What you don't include on your resume can be just as important as what you do. Here Akhtaboot presents a number of things you should be sure to leave off when writing your resume or CV.


1) Short-Term Jobs

Including short-term jobs in your CV will raise red flags for hiring managers, as it will give an impression that you are unstable and that you don’t have a clear career path. A few months in a job won't be sufficient to present any real accomplishments anyway. Short-term jobs should only be included in one instance; if the job was contract or project based, it won't raise any question marks as you'll have an explanation that doesn't reflect poorly on you.


2) Additional Pages

If you're under 30 years of age, your resume should only be one page. If you have enough experience to justify a second one, two pages are fine. Hiring managers may spend only 20 or 30 seconds on each job application initially, so extra pages are either ignored or frowned upon. Your resume should be for highlights, not extensive detail that should be tackled during the interview.


3) Your Last Salary

Salary information should never be included in a CV, as it is guaranteed to make you come across as naive or greedy, and by sharing such information you can actually harm your salary negotiation later on. Since employers are likely to inquire about the salary range you're looking for, there's no point trying to negotiate before you have a real job offer.


4) Your Photo

Since your appearance has nothing to do with your ability to do the job, there’s no need to include your personal photo in your CV. While adding a photo might make your CV stand out from the others being looked at, there are times when this isn’t necessarily a good thing! A photo can take up valuable space on your CV that you could use more effectively to promote your key skills - which is what will ultimately help you land the job.


5) A Complicated Design

Unless you're applying for a job as a designer, CVs with an unusual design and weird colors can backfire on you as it will give the impression that you don’t understand what employers are looking for. Line up all headings to keep your resume looking clean and professional and avoid excessive graphic use, boxes or distracting lines and designs.


6) Fancy Self-Descriptions

Your CV should only highlight your experience and accomplishments. It's not the place for subjective self-descriptions, such as "great leadership skills" or "creative innovator". Hiring managers often disregard anything subjective that job seekers write about themselves because self-assessments are wildly inaccurate. Stick to objective facts and actual achievements.


7) Standard Templates

Although it can be very tempting to use resume templates, employers come across thousands of CVs per month and looking at the same thing gets boring. They can look at the format of a resume and know immediately if it is a template or an original design. If they think it is, they may make assumptions about the applicant not taking the time to create an original resume. If you decide to use a standard template, make sure that you customize the margins, font and spacing.

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Mais Gousous is VP of Marketing at Akhtaboot - the career network. Being in charge of developing and managing Akhtaboot’s CSR Program “Akhtaboot Cares Initiative”, Mais is involved in the implementation of career-related programs and events, in line with Akhtaboot’s strategic focus areas in career development and guidance.

 
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