When writing your resume, your intention should be to present yourself in a uniquely credible and professional light so that hiring managers consider choosing you for a job opening. The more you share about yourself within that limited space of paper, the higher your chances in achieving this. That being said, there could be certain entries on resumes and CV’s that strike out as red flags to anyone reading them.
We have made a list of things that you should consider keeping to yourself while writing your resume. These include:
Listing Your Age
When you apply for a job opening, your potential employers are interested in the value you can bring to the organization. What they are not interested in knowing is the amount of years that you have managed to stay alive. Listing your age (or year of birth) on your resume is just a waste of space that could be used to share information that companies are actually interested in learning about.
As a resume is going to be read out by someone who does not know you personally, you would want to avoid providing unnecessary details that could be used against you – being too young or too old in the eyes of employers may work against you as without being able to judge your professional worth in person, they would most likely base their assumptions on the information you have provided to them on paper.
Providing Unprofessional Contact Information
Yes, most of us made a “cool” and sometimes even clever looking email id back in our teenage years, but truth be told, hiring managers are looking for someone who embodies professionalism. This is why when applying for a job, you should resort to using the most simple email id you can come up with. Ideally, you would want to use a format such as <[email protected]>.
If (for some reason) you don’t already have an email address that meets this criteria, you can always create a new account – It’s free and it only takes a moment to set up! Your effort will pay off, after all, would you take an email from someone such as [email protected] seriously?
Listing Irrelevant Jobs and Tasks
When listing your experiences, focus on the ones that are most relevant to the position you are applying for. It is better to list experiences that match the designation you are attempting to acquire – customizing your resume for specific jobs doesn’t go unnoticed, and hiring managers can easily detect a well-made, personalized resume intended for their organization from a generic “jack of all trades” one.
Exhibiting a Generalized Skill Set
Skills that are basic in nature tend to be repetitive among multiple applicants – meaning that the skill in question is something that most of the people are already good at. This would tend to take the spotlight away from your otherwise attractive list of offerings.
A good example of a redundantly mentioned skill across various applicants would be “Proficient in Microsoft Office” – anyone who knows how to create and edit Word documents feels that they can enlist it as a skill. The point is to show how unique you are, not that you have the maximum number of skills (that anyone else would possess as well).
Listing Hobbies and Interests
While it is not always a bad idea to share what makes you stand out in terms of personal interests, hiring managers are more keen in knowing if these hobbies would be beneficial towards your professional growth or not. Playing Chess, for instance, could be reflective of your ability to make strategic decisions. Bodybuilding however, is something that should be left for observation only.
You should keep in mind that interests are subjective, and you will never be certain as to how different people will react when going through them. It is best to avoid this section altogether, and using this space to develop a more concise picture of your professional profile/
Some Other Things To Avoid
References from Previous Employers. You can provide your past job references separately, should the need arise. There is no need to waste any precious space on your resume for something that does not belong there.
Attention Seeking Tactics. These include (but are not limited to) using fancy font styles, using colored typography, applying stylish borders and adding any sort of graphics, pictures or charts.
Stating Work Experience Older Than 15 Years. This one is for the seasoned job seekers out there – you would want to look relevant in the eyes of employers. Stating jobs that you did over a decade ago would most likely not go in your favor. Keep your offerings fresh and up-to-date!