top of page

Top Five Resume Tips of Things to Avoid

Updated: Feb 29

Top 5 things not to include on a resume

Your resume is your first opportunity to make a lasting impression on potential employers. It serves as a snapshot of your professional experience, skills, and qualifications. However, not all information belongs on your resume. In fact, certain details can detract from your candidacy and undermine your chances of securing an interview. To ensure your resume stands out for all the right reasons, here are the top five things to never include:

1. Irrelevant Personal Information:

Your resume should focus solely on your professional qualifications and accomplishments. Avoid including personal details such as age, marital status, religion, or political affiliations. Employers are prohibited from making hiring decisions based on these factors, and including them on your resume could create biases or distractions. This almost always includes photos as well, even if they are professional headshots. While this is commonly practiced in some countries, it's rarely appropriate for job applications in North America.

2. Objective Statements:

Objective statements, which typically outline your career goals or aspirations, have become outdated in modern resume writing. Employers are more interested in what you can offer them rather than what you hope to gain from the position. Instead of an objective statement, use a professional summary or career summary that highlights your skills, experiences, and how they align with the job you're applying for.

3. Overly Generic Language:

Avoid using generic or cliché phrases that fail to differentiate you from other candidates. Terms like "team player," "hardworking," or "detail-oriented" are overused and lack specificity. Instead, focus on providing concrete examples of your achievements and skills. Use action verbs to describe your experiences and quantify your accomplishments whenever possible.

4. Unexplained Employment Gaps:

While it's essential to be honest about your work history, including unexplained gaps in your employment timeline can raise red flags for employers. If you took time off for personal reasons, education, or to travel, consider briefly explaining these gaps in your cover letter or during the interview process. Highlight any relevant skills or experiences gained during these periods to demonstrate continued professional development.

5. Unprofessional Email Addresses or Fonts:

Your email address and resume formatting can impact the overall professionalism of your application. Avoid using unprofessional or outdated email addresses (e.g., "") and opt for a simple, professional address that includes your name. Similarly, choose a clean and easy-to-read font (e.g., Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman) and maintain consistent formatting throughout your resume.

Crafting a compelling resume requires careful attention to detail and a keen understanding of what employers are looking for. By avoiding these common pitfalls and focusing on showcasing your relevant skills and experiences, you can increase your chances of standing out to potential employers and securing that coveted interview. Remember, your resume is your ticket to the next stage of the hiring process—make it count!


Want great HR tips, tricks and best practices sent straight to your inbox? Sign up for our FREE quarterly newsletter! Even if you never need our services, we'll help you stay up to date on a range of HR topics and issues.

2 views0 comments


bottom of page