052 The 12 Things You Should NEVER Put On Your Resume


  1. Too Much Information.
  2. Sensitive Personal Information.
  3. Long Sentences Full of Buzz Words and Commas.
  4. An Objective Section.
  5. The Word “Summary” or Variation Thereof As A Section Header.
  6. The Dates For Education.
  7. More Experience Than The Company Is Asking For.
  8. Pictures, Graphics, Emojis, Fancy Fonts, Watermarks.
  9. An Embedded Cover Letter.
  10. Redundant Usage Of Language and Information.
  11. Abundance Of Acronyms.
  12. Sidebars, tables, columns, bubbles.

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0:00 – 05:14

Welcome to job seekers radio. I’m Andrew and I’m Scott. This production has meant to provide meaningful support to you to find great careers faster whether you’re working or not today on job seekers radio. We’re talking about the twelve things not to put on your resume. Resumes are great. They’re necessary. We we know we need to use them but I need to keep up with the times. we don’t use resumes quite the same way we did ten twenty thirty years ago so it’s important that we make sure that we are aware of what is currently not just acceptable but preferred so we wanna talk about a few things that maybe in the past some people have enjoyed using or doing to probably shouldn’t at this point and resumes. If you look at the history I think they’ve only been around since the nineteen sixties. It’s relatively new phenomenon in the world of work in the world of human existence right well of course mistake what I know there’s lots of change change in that time and there’s this new thing called the Internet and applicant tracking software and all these new players are on the scene that are insulating us from the ability to find work often. The things that we create to make things is easier also make things more complicated so we want to give some ideas on some things that maybe we’ve done in the past that we don’t want to do moving forward because we want to make sure that your resumes are the ones that get to the top of the list. We want you in the short pile not the round file exactly and the first thing the number one thing in my estimation and I came up with this list so Scott will just take some credit for I added a little a little bit. Okay is too much information. I can’t tell you how many resumes I’ve seen that are eight nine ten pages long and if you’re doing something outside of the sciences that’s probably overkill it is over even in the sciences depends on that whole thing right who’s even going to understand it. Well and I’m one that my coworkers will tell me all day long how wordy I am. I know that to help with that. I usually have someone else. Look look at my resume to help me edit it down because if I’m repeating things that I don’t really realize because I’m trying to get the story just right. Having a second set of is especially when you have a friend or colleague who look at that from your the opposite point of view somebody who only thinks or speaks bullet points is probably going to help you and it had down to the the the information you actually need. You may not be the type this really wordy in that case. He’s stretching the information to fit a pager to might be a challenge but this is for those people that are extra wordy or feel like me. They’re trying to overwhelm the audience. I’ve got to make sure I get every little detail exactly because it’s important that everybody knows everything that I can do. No it isn’t yeah the resume you look. It’s a French word and you know French did idea okay resume means summary. It’s a summary of your experience is not a catalog of everything when you’ve ever done right and that actually ties into another point we’ll be making later about how much time we put on it. The corollary to this that I’ve seen a lot is people say oh I’m going to fit this on one page in and they try to shoehorn to page resume onto one page and they do that by having a nine point font quarter inch margins and I’m you know I’m fifty now. I can’t believe it and I have trouble reading things that that small right. I have to grab my readers especially if you’re looking to get in with the company where the recruiter or hiring manager is actually reading the resumes themselves rather than an automated system. I’m going to pick up the resumes that I can read easily. I’m not going to spend a lot of time reading tiny tiny font or the really long resumes if I can get qualified candidates who can tell me concisely and in easy to read resumes what I’m looking for. We’re looking at an average of eight seconds version pass on a resume bright human being once you get to that spot. You need to make it very easy to consume right so if you’re if you’re going for an entry level position one page resumes probably adequate if you’re looking at a middle management to maybe through a director the two pages should be adequate because if you’re highlighting the skills along with the achievements or accomplishments rush months or or the tasks that you’ve you’ve been able to do you should be able to get that onto a couple of pages the caveat to that and there’s always an exception to the rule is if you’re looking executive level which would be maybe VP and

05:14 – 10:30

Above or you’re going into academia and they want to see your published works and maybe some patents or any research done you can have a page three that has that stuff on right so a woman get hired for the Executive Director Position Edition for the Women’s Center at a hospital and she had a fight patriotism that was appropriate for the position that she was going for plus not only was recruiter looking in a very specific way for that level. She had a head-hunter working for her to help facilitate those conversations so that’s a different kind of job search. What we’re talking about is for the average person don’t use small fund to fit more? You’re in and it down the amount of information and keep it most relevant to the company. You’re applying to I love the advice you gave before and that is used the resume that gets you the call get you the interviews right. If you find one that’s working us going yeah keep using and is you’re personalizing resumes. Maybe we should list that as its own idea always personalize your resume never send the same resume out all all the time and the reason I said that is because not every company is looking for exactly the same skill set even though the title may be exactly the same pay attention to the job description and then tailor it to it so if you have a master resume and you take out the things that don’t apply to that company. That’s going to help you edited down. Don’t spend a whole lot of time doing that but it does make a difference budget. Maybe fifteen twenty minutes customized the resume exactly I found people that try to optimize ineffective method end up going into mild depression and they don’t hear anything jerk. Just use the resume. That’s getting you the calls the second one is I’m and I’m going to say this kind of roughly. Don’t ever put any personal information on your resume. You’d like your address or anything. They could allow somebody to take over your identity for nefarious stock you yeah I generally give the advice. Use the information on your resume. Where they can get in touch with you generally speaking? They’re not going to send you a letter so you do not need to put your physical mailing address any of that your phone number and email and if you aren’t comfortable giving your home home phone number or your your cell phone number there are other ways to do that. You could use  Google voice so that you’re not giving your own phone number out but it connects to your phone you can then screen your calls. It depends on your org your comfort level with that that an email address and I also suggest putting your linked in profile a URL. On the resume but that’s really all you need. Just how do you get in touch with me. That’s the only information you need to put on it. Nothing else really matters so and government is really interesting. ’cause they’re always asking for more information than his reasonably necessary in an application process and be aware that your social media accounts will be scrutinized if they can get to them so be conscious of that. Don’t put your facebook URL On your resume unless it is your facebook page that talks about your career brings us to the third thing not not to put on your resume and that’s long sentences full of buzzwords and lots of commerce. Keep it simple I generally recommend don’t have more than two clauses and a single sentence. Keep it easily read bullet pointed needed if you can as part of that long sentences there’s some debate whether or not the narrative with the first person I did such and such is helpful if that works within your industry go for it but please is keep those sentences short simple succinct but generally I find most people will skim through a resume very quickly so bullet points help and make sure that the beginning of the sentences where the meat of it is the things that you actually did or the skills that you used one that we missed here. This probably a corollary to this is I believe that bullets should highlight something and one thing that I’ve seen a lot of people do as they bullet everything so everything on the resumes and bullets and it it leaves the reader thinking okay. What do they really highlighting is? Is it the first one or the third one or the tenth Washer you so they see a position and there’s like fifteen bullets thing about that. Though is high found most recruiters will read the first three you and then they move on to the next job so as your top three bullets aren’t the most important tasks or skills that you’re trying to highlight then move them up because it’s great to show death within your role and that’s where are those other bullet points may go but they’re probably not going to read them all so make sure the first ones that the most important that brings us to the next the number four thing not to put on your resume and that’s an objective we get the objective.

10:30 – 15:55

You’re looking for a job. You’re right to find a job in my domain for four this for the role that I’m applies a given when I see an objective what that’s telling me as either. You don’t really know what you’re doing your job search or it has been a long time since you’ve looked for work or it son resume you pulled off a free template off the Internet. That’s from one thousand nine hundred seventy yeah good point even nine hundred ninety the objective it is great if you are if you had no experience and you’re using a functional resume the objective is to move to the next part of my career. If you are like right out of college you have no real experience other than the academic learning then that would be the exception to the rule because you’re you’re putting it out there. You’re not experienced in this but this is your area of interest and you have some training and your objective is to move in that direction there are going to be certain Martin hiring managers who recruiters were looking for that but that puts you in a very small group so otherwise let your experience indicate the objective and that sort sort of leads then to the the the summary to there are times when people put a summary of what they can do. I don’t recommend that instead you can kill those two birds with one stone and that’s put the job title you are looking for. It gives people north star who is seeing I see a name and I see a title boom. I already know who you are in what you’re looking for and from there everything should support that job title from their perspective so if ear the type to put nine point font because you’re trying to get more in take out the objective in the summary. You’re probably going to gain some space. The yeah use white space. That’s that’s another caveat so that was actually one two three four five that I was number five no summer no summary Don’t use the word summary at the top of resumes instead use the job title on the posting or a target job title or domain right. I have seen a summary used to highlight skills used and if that’s the case I would go ahead and do that but under the title skills and that should come later in the resume or it could come under the summary. There’s an option there well. You’re doing a summary right but the summary worry would fall under the job title you just wouldn’t have right the word summary on the resume then you would have a summary statement even though it’s not called summary Right but here’s one of the tricks that you taught me and that is instead a summary do a branding statement in the personal branding statement because ultimately it is summarizing what what I offer that has a completely different feel and if you’re looking at applying for a job where they know anything about marketing they will actually appreciate that you show that you understand how you’re putting yourself out there and if I have to have to read twenty-five resumes and it’s like detail oriented project manager with expertise yeah and another one though Sarasin other thing with the buzz words yeah. Don’t don’t don’t use US words. I know we touched on that earlier but things like detail oriented or process driven or results driven even if you’re not result covering. I don’t want to hire you right because the whole point of having a job is to result in something right so we’re all results oriented to some degree. If we’re good employees we are detail oriented to the degree we need to be and if our skill set doesn’t allow for really focusing on the details. We probably shouldn’t be going for a job that needs that kind of detail assume that they know that you’re detail oriented because you actually put your resume together together. Well let the resume speak for itself exactly that brings us to the sixth thing not to put on the resume and that is dates for education. It’s completely irrelevant to your candidacy when you got your education is not the bar the the bar is do you have education and I hear people say well. That’s not necessarily true for Higher Ed for an academic role. I think it’s still applies to the extent that they are looking for your level of education as much. As when you had it now I understand that if if someone had an education in a very specific type of work that where they got their degree thirty years ago it’s probable that the work itself has evolved evolve over time but even with that having the right degree and showing thirty years of experience or at least ten years we’ll get to that second showing the years of experience where you are actually using this in modern ways ways that is a better message to send but if I say that I graduated from college in Nineteen Sixty four the hiring manager is going to make some assumptions on about my age and at the very least about about whether my skill set is modern it is not relevant if they insist on having the dates of your education on your application.

15:55 – 20:12

That’s different put it. They’re not on your resume. The only caveat encouraged people that are maybe just about two to three years out of college. They may have some experience and I think it’s it gives the reader at least what I read the resume. I feel like Oh okay. He doesn’t just have two years experience or three years experience. He just got out of college right now. I understand why yes and that might agree. Exactly what I’m looking for. Entry Level Persons got about two years experience not the person that’s got ten years experience trying to find something entry level because that’s a whole different for conversation ex. It’s all about point all about fit and brings us to number seven if you have more experienced than the company is asking for personalise or or modify that resume to match the experience that that they’re looking for again. The resume is to try to get their attention to make them feel compelled to contact you to interview you. It is not about going beyond what they need because that can actually shooting in the foot if they think that you’re overqualified to or that you would be bored right or too expensive or that’s another one too expensive. Oh well this person has so much experienced a probably one twice as much prices were willing to pay or able to pay often when I talked to hiring managers and recruiters about over qualified candidates their biggest fears that they won’t stay turnover is very very expensive and they want someone who can grow into a position. I’ve been in that situation where I was overqualified for job. I applied for so I had to be prepared to answer the question. Why do you want this job? We’re fighting it from the start yeah why give them ammunition. That’s how how I look at. It is if they’re asking for five years experience. Maybe give him seven right not fifteen as long as you’re showing job progression that would make sense you know maybe in the first two years you were at a lower level a position but then you moved up that would make sense and don’t make things up on your resume don’t lie. Maybe that’s another thing that we should add to. I didn’t think we had to talk about that. They’re still a persistent idea that everybody everybody inflates their their experience on the resume and there may be truth to it on a slate. I don’t recommend that I don’t do that so I don’t think about that I but I I generally tell people do not lie on your resume it. We’ll come back to haunt you and I worked for the GAL wants who did not have a college degree and she was looking at potentially moving to a different organization as she asked me. What do I do because I I got the job here saying that I had a degree and I told her taken off your resume because if they find out you have lied it breaks trust and it’s unlikely you’ll keep the job or you can put education on there? Just don’t claim you have a degree great so it could be that you had two or three years education just say hey you know university studying H._R.. Coursework but you didn’t get a degree so don’t claim a degree if you don’t have exactly but you can’t claim that you had the coursework at brings us to number eight years yeah pictures graphics emojis Fancy Fonts getting too cutesy or trying to over graphics yet resume logs in massive distraction action right the only exception that I’m aware of when it comes to changing the formatting and making it look really graphically interesting is if you are getting going for job in the graphic arts. There’s an expectation of of having a graphically produced resume because that is you’re calling card for your skills on how to put that together but that should also be a part of a portfolio as well the work that you’ve done when it comes to just general job job search keep it simple don’t do a lot of formatting don’t put in Emojis or other graphics. Do not put your picture in that opens up a whole bunch of EEOC

20:13 – 25:08

issues not to mention many of these. He’s applicant tracking systems these software out there. They’re not going to pick it up anyway. They may not read anything on your resume. It’s over. They may not be able to even scan it on their exactly so you may not even have a chance to get an interview because you were trying to be cute on your resume. Exceptions would be using your head shot. If you’re in real estate often realtors put that on it so it has become something of an expectation. You want to build trust in in that fashion if your industry has an expectation that you have a photo okay make sure it’s a professional head shot. Don’t for general job searches. Don’t put your photo on your resume and you may even even want to have two different versions. The one that you used for applications might WANNA be stripped of any formatting even if you are a graphic designer. ’cause you want to at least get the call in the conversation and perhaps even on the resume. You put linked to your portfolio. Yes instead of your Lincoln profile may not be there’s ways to get around that we recommend that you use your best judgment and use the resume that gets you the calls right so that brings us to number nine  the cover letter. I’ve seen people actually put a cover letter inside their resume. Really that’s nuts where at the beginning yeah so. It’s like. There’s a cover letter in the resume is below that well. I guess that would make sense to the extent that so many people don’t read the cover letter. Also you’re trying to force them into it. The problem with that is that if they don’t see what your your experiences in the first few seconds they dismiss it outright while the applicants system if you’re if you’re relying and we’re not advocating you rely just on the applications. No I mean the whole foundation of our our podcast is network is networking even so if somebody asks you for the resume and you eventually get it to him with a cover letter taps. It’s confusing using what are you doing. I think that’s a really bad idea. Just leave the cover letter separate just like references you wake references on your resume either right so please don’t put your resume. I agree I don’t think. It belongs there. Let them ask for it this the other thing when it comes to cover letter when the job posting says send your resume and cover letter be sure you’ve written a good cover letter. Don’t put it in the resume that brings us to the next thing not to put on your resume and that’s any kind of redundant information. I’ve seen this Scott where people actually will copy and paste a bullet point bright and move it down to the next role underneath of that. Even though it was different company it was the same title it was the same aim exact words. It’s great to know that you’re you’re taking your transferable skills from one job to another. If it’s a basic skill put it the first time you used it because the chances are pretty good. They will figure out that you’ve been using that same skill title in later jobs if it relates specifically to a specific action that is going to be done by the person whose job you’re applying for. I keeping it to the top may be a good answer but don’t repeat the information nation if it was done differently in prior job used different wording to describe what you were doing any kind of copy and paste can also be seen if you do like a search that one way to kind of overcome this is to do a search for a certain word string and see if it’s redundant inside a your document idea so just do like a little search and say my saying the same thing over and over again or or using the same word so you can do a search for like if you say created a lot you can search for that word inside your resume him and any times it shows us the Yes wow. I didn’t know that word was a tongue twister using Soroush. Yes wow okay okay. Here’s something to drink no. I wish I had that would be a good excuse moving onto the next one. Don’t use a lot of acronyms true. There are some jobs that you apply for that are very specialized. The acronyms ends are well known within your industry and they are commonly used that would be a reasonable exception but if you can’t say with a fair amount of certainty that the person reading this is going to understand that don’t use an acronym spelled out put the acronym in Parentheses and then you can use that accurate in later. You have to make sure that you’ve spelled it out so that the person reading it understand it even if you do that I still discourage people from over using that acronym because I have seen it where they put it in and then they put it in parentheses and literally in the next section of experience.

25:08 – 30:04

It’s used like ten not a good idea. Just don’t repeat yourself over us and the challenge and it’s not so much that you should put acronyms on their two things one it makes it difficult to read because you now have to stop and translate in your mind what that acronym is and then I just missed the value of your statement because I was thinking of however so the mind humans humans mind has to think that way thinking about jobs in medicine for example where the acronym is used as a common word that might be an exception but I would still recommend talking about these things using different different language in the later sections keeping it interesting actually benefits the people who have to read these resumes and this is just the ones that automated system spits out of them. Give them something interesting to read. The second thing is you don’t no who’s going to read this resume. I it could be a junior H._r.. Person even a contractor. That’s just there to screen good point hundred resumes down to stack of twenty maybe then get on the phone so just be sure that you know you don’t know who the person is going to read it and and for those technical folks you can have technical skill section where you can put the alphabet soup that there’s totally acceptable to have a section of things like that that isn’t part of the regular experience and then redundant so and that brings me to that point of putting in the keywords because so often with the automated system we talk about companies are looking for specific keywords. If you haven’t put those specific he words that are in the job description in your experience you can put in that skill section those other key words that you’re looking for and that is a good spot to put the acronyms that you know this company is going to be looking for that brings us to the last twelfth thing not to put on your resume and that’s any kind of sidebars or tables or columns yeah well models right the the borders around a section. This comes sort of comes back to that idea of too much formatting. You can really screw up your chances of being seen if the company uses an automated system for which this kind of formatting is problematic. I see this using tables because it makes everything look really pretty and so if you’re using printed version or even if you expect someone to be looking at the resume on the computer just on the screen. It may look really nice. You’re you’re assuming that is going to get through that automated system and tables and other formatting can really messed that up yeah and that’s really the primary reason we don’t want it there. The challenges is at each time. We see something. We’re distracted from your message. If you have multiple messages trying to distract us we don’t know what the messages as simpler is better because hiring team as a hiring manager that you’ve been you’ve got a lot of resumes to go through not once the same and I’ve got hunt and peck around for the information. I need to put you in the short pile. I tell you don’t make it difficult. As I’ve gone through resumes the one that the ones that stand out are the ones with the most white space because that’s telling me not only the specific experience. The person has has so I can get there quickly it also telling me they’re likely more succinct. They are skilled at giving me a lot of information a few words that can be really powerful that does it for this episode of Job Seekers Radio You can get all show notes and resources sources at job seekers radio DOT COM forward slash zero five to while you’re there we invite you to take advantage of a free resource a free resource resource that we put together for you. It’s the anatomy of a networking conversation. It’s an e book that enter and I put together. We we invite you to download that. Listen to the PODCAST. Read what we’ve got here. We feel really comfortable based on the feedback. We’re getting that we’ve we’ve got a good thing forty here so take advantage of it and that free resource actually will help you because this particular session is about resume but resume is just one tool in your kids there and getting to the interviews what matters batters exactly and we don’t want the resume to be the only thing you rely on to get those rights now. Working is going to get you further than just sending out a resume. Thank you again for joining us for this episode of Job Seekers Radio Scott Ni- both with we appreciate the investment of time and attention. You’ve given to listen to us. Speak About job search because we’ve been through this. We understand yeah a lot of times we’ve been we’ve walked in your shoes exactly head over to itunes and subscribe to get future episodes and while you’re there please provide us a rate in review.

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