5 things that are bad for your resume

5 things that are bad for your resume

Don’t waste time and space on things that are bad for your resume. You have a limited amount of space in which to promote yourself and your abilities, and typically just six seconds in which to impress a potential employer or recruiter. Avoid the bin – leave these five things off your resume, otherwise you are likely to discourage someone from interviewing you.

Resume writing is about creating a comprehensive yet concise marketing document, designed to increase you changes of securing an interview. The standard length for resumes in Australia is four pages. Within those pages you may have to cover many years’ experience and achievements.

However, some things are unnecessary to include on your resume. Others can fail to impress or even discourage people from interviewing you.

Here are 5 things that are bad for your resume. Eliminate them to make better use of limited space and to demonstrate how you are an ideal candidate.

Photos and personal information

Physical attributes are sometimes a necessary part of a job description, but for most of us it is skills that matter, not looks. Employers do not need to know your hair colour, height or weight, ethnicity or any disabilities you have.

Not only do they not need to know, they really don’t want to know. Many will ignore resumes with photos to avoid claims of discrimination. If they are interested, they can look up your LinkedIn profile.

Objective

It used to be common practice to include an objective at the start of a resume. But in a competitive market you need to attract the attention of the reader and to encourage them to read on so don’t waste this valuable real estate on something formulaic.

An objective that says you are “looking to obtain a rewarding position in which you can use your skills to help grow the organisation” is simply generic and does nothing to differentiate you from other candidates. Use this space to sell yourself with an attention grabbing summary of your experience and accomplishments.

Politics and religion

A potential employer may dislike people with your political views, so why take a chance when you don’t have to? Even if you know their political leanings, don’t include yours on a resume. Unless you’re applying for a job with a political organisation, such biases are best left off.

Your church or religious group may play a major role in your life. However, unless you’re applying for a job in the religious space, don’t risk your resume being rejected by including religious references. Again, some companies worry that if they interview you but don’t hire you, they may be sued for discrimination.

Vague words and generalisms

Are you experienced/loyal/energetic/punctual/motivated/enthusiastic/a team player/a people person/client focussed? Vague words and general phrases like these are frequently overused. Yes, almost every employer will be looking for these traits but anyone can say they possess them.

Instead, make these skills relevant to your experience and show you embody these traits. Include examples of projects that you have led, accomplishments your team has achieved. Be specific about how long you’ve worked in your field, how many clients you have had, what your results were. If these words aren’t relevant to your skills and accomplishments, leave them off your resume.

Hobbies and interests

The space on your resume is limited, so you need to use it to best demonstrate how you are the right candidate for a job. It should be a professional guide to help an employer learn about your accomplishments. Your love of hiking, reading or football is not relevant to how you perform professionally.

If you want to demonstrate your varied interests and good work in the community, save it for the interview – but only if they ask. Most of the time employers don’t need or want to know about your hobbies. 

Use your hobbies as a way to find common ground by listing them on your LinkedIn profile, and show how your activities are applicable to the workplace. For example, being president of a community group can demonstrate your leadership experience.

Avoid things that are bad for your resume

A recruiter typically takes seconds to evaluate all of your accomplishments and decide whether you’re a potential fit for a job. Avoid including these 5 things that are bad for your resume and that will see you being rejected for a job.

If you want to increase your chances of securing an interview, ask about our resume writing services.