7 things to leave off your Résumé

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The job market can be tricky to navigate and with every passing year it is more and more challenging for candidates and employers alike.

Recruiters spend an average of 6-8 seconds looking at a resume before keeping it for the ‘Yes’ pile or casting it off to the bottom the ‘No’ pile.

With this in mind, it is important that the information your CV conveys is clear, to the point and sells your best professional attributes. To help with this, we have compiled a short list of 7 things to leave off your resume. Here goes………

  1. Personal information

What! I hear you say…..aside from your name, email address and phone number; information such as your marital status, religion/spiritual beliefs or even sexual orientation have no place on your CV and are completely irrelevant as they do not demonstrate your professional abilities in any way.

2. Unprofessional sounding email

No explanation needed there and where possible, it is always best to create an email account which you can use for job hunting only.

3. Headshot

Your photo will likely reveal your nationality, gender, or age — among other factors and this could inadvertently lead to discrimination. There’s no need to provide an employer/recruiter with those details until they’ve considered your application based solely on your qualifications.

4. Elaborate formats, designs, charts or images

When it comes to selecting a design for your resume, less is more.  Keep it simple and stick to a clean resume design with a clear hierarchy. Overly complicated designs and formats confuse most applicant tracking systems, but they also annoy recruiters who are used to quickly scanning a resume for specific information they expect to find in particular spots within the document. Don’t make recruiters hunt for the information they need.

5. Unprofessional fonts and spelling/grammatical errors

Not all of us are gifted spellers and most of us are prone to make grammatical errors, but with software available today, this can easily be avoided. Another way to ensure your CV not only reads well but is also free of spelling mistakes is to have someone else read it over and check.

6. Too many buzzwords

Make sure you incorporate keywords in a way that sounds natural when you read your resume out loud. Using too many words such as team player, hardworking, punctual or diligent will only result in your CV not making the ‘Yes’ pile. All employers/recruiters expect the people they are going to employ to be all these things.

7. And finally……this line: Reference available on request

We’ve all done it, me included but at this point on your job-hunting journey recruiters won’t need references and it is a given that they should be made available when requested.

If you’d like to read more about CV writing, you can also check on these other couple of blogs on our site:

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