What Not to Put on your Resumes

You’re building your resume for a new job and you can think of a million ways to approach it. There are so many wonderful aspects for a person to display on a resume, but there are key points that you need to address that you can find in our last Working Knowledge article on resumes. Some things just aren’t necessary. Here are a few tips on what not to put on your resume.

Exaggerations and Untruths

This is probably the most important but do not misrepresent yourself on your resume. Typically, if a business is interested in you, they will conduct a background check on you as well as reach out to previous employers, former colleagues and social media to confirm what you have told them about your academic degrees, work experience, or contributions you claim to have made in prior roles.  Employers are coming to the realization that people don’t need years and years of experience to be a top performer. Businesses are seeking skills and positive outlooks in individuals so the last thing you want to do is destroy your reputation and face dismissal out the gate by misrepresenting something so small as stating you were a manager rather than a specialist. 

Getting Too Personal

Personality is HUGE. Bringing some of that to an interview is excellent because people want to have fun colleagues they get along with, but a resume is meant to be your professional whitepaper. It should be clearcut and show the employer your strong work qualities. You may add a brief history of yourself, but this should be concise and remain professional. No need for shock value in a resume and if you want to get a tiny bit more personal, create a cover letter for the resume. Even in this case, the purpose of the cover letter is to tie your expertise to the open role at hand so it should be only slightly more personal than your resume.  Always keep in mind that you are seeking to establish a business relationship.  When candidates share too much personal information, they come across as needy, and most potential employers will run the other way to avoid a high maintenance employee!

Irrelevant Experience

When you send your resume to a potential employer, you are attempting to say that you are fully qualified for the potential job.  Focus on experience that directly relates and sets you apart.  Prior work experience may have offered plenty of opportunity to learn and grow, but you don’t want to focus too much on any experience not related to the position you are seeking when creating a professional resume. If your resume seems a bit light in relevant work experiences, consider enhancing your skills. There are skills that you can learn for free whether it’s through Google Skillshop  or a HubSpot Academy. Take advantage of the many free resources at your fingertips. These trainings and certifications can sometimes help you stand out more than a college degree.