5 Items to Leave Off Your Resume

By Kaitlin Hurtado on September 27, 2018

One of the first things you need to do when you are starting on your hunt for a job or internship is to give your resume a much-needed edit or even make your first resume, depending on how far along you are in your career path. Your resume can be one of the first things that an employer will see in relation to you, and it’s important that your resume can make a good first impression when you can’t do so yourself.

Necessary features for a resume vary from position to position, and person to person, but it’s important to remember that your resume should be short and to the point when it comes to showing what you are all about. You want your potential employer or hiring manager to be able to look at your resume at first glance and get a good feel for what you are bringing to the table as an applicant.

Here are some things you can consider leaving off your resume when updating your resume:

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1. High school experience

Detailing your “career” experience in chronological order may have you believe you should write about your high school days when updating your resume, but it should really be left out. This exclusion may seem risky if you are just starting out and do not think you have much to offer outside of high school experience, but you definitely do not want to be dating your experience back several years.

Do not be afraid to show your growth outside of high school. If you think attributing high school is necessary, try rewording certain skills or experience points. For example, if taking a foreign language made you fluent in the language in high school, just include your knowledge in the typical “skills” part of your resume rather than wasting lines detailing high school experience like courses.

2. Objective statements and other “fluff” 

When it comes to resumes, hiring managers and employers want to be able to see the facts. They want to look at your resume and know that you are capable of doing the tasks they are looking for by seeing the type of experience and skills you have.

Writing an objective statement about how you want a job in the field, or would love to work with a company like theirs is nice, but it doesn’t really show much about you as a potential employee when the same can be written by just about every other applicant. Make sure you can spend more time (and space) writing about what matters to hiring managers than vague statements that don’t contribute to the “wow” factor that your resume can offer.

3. Basic skills 

Updating your resume should leave your resume looking more stand-out, and one step to achieving that is leaving out basic skills that often come to many’s minds when it comes to “beefing” up their resume. These skills often consist of working well in collaborations, quick problem-solving or excellent customer service.

Instead of defaulting to these skills, try including skills that are more unique to you, or showing that you have these skills through your experience. Remember that when it comes to your resume, you want to balance show and tell.

4. Dishonesty

While you do want to make sure you stand out among other applicants when updating your resume, you definitely do not want to falsely advertise yourself. The dishonesty that can show up on your resume can range from small white lies to going as far as to lie about previous job positions you have held.

There’s no use in saying you are fluent in another language in order to make yourself seem like a more valuable potential employee when you actually are proficient at best in the language. You do not want to get hired and be expected to stand-in on meetings and be the translator, and then be caught in a lie.

No matter if it is a complete lie or a “small” exaggeration, do not be tempted to be dishonest on your resume because the consequences will definitely outweigh any possible benefits.

5. Information unrelated to the job you are applying for

When you are updating your resume, try to keep the specific job or field you are applying for in mind. When keeping a specific end goal in mind, you are able to tailor your resume more purposefully and effectively. For example, if you were applying for a job in finance, you do not need to be putting your past experience of babysitting neighborhood kids every summer.

While it’s important to consider what you absolutely should include, it’s just as important to remember what you should exclude from your resume because it is either unnecessary/unrelated to the job or can even put you at a disadvantage in the pool of applicants.

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