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Resume Building: What not to include in a resume?

Published: Thursday 5th November 2020

While building a resume, a candidate tends to search for everything they need to include in theirs, but not what to skip out. This creates a half-done resume with several errors that can potentially threaten your interview process. If you are facing a lot of application rejections, maybe it is time to take a closer look at your resume and search for blind spots you may have missed while creating it.

Businessman or HR Manager review a resume on his desk with Magnifier  

A candidate has 30 seconds to make their mark  

It takes less than 30 seconds for a hirer to make an impression about you while reading your resume. If they do not find what they are looking for, they will reject your application and quickly move on as time is of the essence. By knowing what not to include in a resume, you will be able to help the hirer find the keywords they require to qualify you to the next round. Keeping your resume updated regularly and editing it to fit a job description before sending it to hirers are two very important steps that are not to be skipped. This blog will highlight exactly what not to include in a resume so that you can revise yours to be one no hirer can reject. Read on to know more!  

What to leave out of a resume? 

Mentioned below is a list of what not to include in a resume so that you can filter them out and refine your own.

  • Long and wrung out paragraphs: Inserting huge paragraphs without any bullet points will not grab a hirers attention to the necessary details. Skip oversharing and add only important highlights with respect to your skills and the job at hand in bullet points.  
  • Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors: Check for grammatical and technical errors in language before you qualify your resume as complete. Grammatical errors are not only unattractive but also can cost you a well-paying job as there is no room for such errors at the professional level.
  • Inaccuracy regarding your qualification or work experience: It never bodes well to display fraudulent or inaccurate details of your work experience and credentials. Ensure that all the information put in a resume is the truth. 
  • Unrequired personal details: Details regarding your primary schooling, school-time awards (unless on a national or state-level scale), extra-curriculars, life events not pertaining to professional inclination and your marital status can be excluded from your resume as it has no real value in the hiring process. 
  • Your age: Your age is a factor that is supposed to be kept confidential in a resume as it helps prevent bias.
  • Negative comments about a former employer: The cardinal rule of a good resume is speaking positively about all your work experiences, as they are steppingstones in your professional career. Even if your previous employer had a biased and toxic culture, this can be explained as “difference in values or professional goals”. The reason for quitting a job is not to be included in a resume; if an employer is curious about it, they will ask you during the interview or in their pre-interview forms. 
  • Too much information about your hobby and interests: The goal of your resume is to help a hirer understand your skills and personality, not to dive deeper into your hobbies and interests outside of the professional realm. Keep your hobbies and interests at the bottom section of the resume with numbered or bullet points. If the recruiter expresses an interest over your hobbies and interests, they will ask about it during the interview where you can elaborate upon them. 
  • Passive Voice: Using passive voice does not adhere to a good resume standard, which is why your text needs to be created in an active voice. This is a grammatical rule of thumb that hires follow for the ideal resume as you are pitching them for a position in their organization. 
  • Tiny fonts: Tiny fonts and text can be hard to read for a hirer. Unless you are aiming for the discarded pile, use an Arial or Calibri font at a zine between 10 to 11 for the best readability. Having legible text on your resume is very essential if you want the recruiter to read through all your credentials and achievements. 

It is always a great idea to ask an experienced friend or family member to read through your completed resume to catch errors you may have missed out. However, nothing can compete with creating a resume from an informed perspective, for which we urge you to read our resume building hacks at our job seeker blogs that cover extensive information about each and every aspect of a resume to help you create a fail-proof one.

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