17 Things You Should Leave Off Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile
Sometimes, all you get is one chance to appeal to companies you’d like to work at. Don’t blow it.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
As recruiting season swoops in, how we present ourselves to places we're applying to for a new job becomes more and more important. Sometimes, all you get is one chance--through your resume or your LinkedIn--to appeal to companies you'd like to work at.
What, then, are the things we should leave off our professional platforms to convey our best selves? Check out 17 right now.
1. High school jobs
If you include your high school education, you're showing recruiters that you haven't had much experience since then. Leave it off unless you accomplished out of the ordinary (like invented a cure for cancer, or made a trip to the Moon).
2. The childish email account
Unlink your LinkedIn from the email account you made in middle school. Nobody wants to write to firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Poor grammar or typos
If one glance is all they'll take at your profile, you should make sure to present your best self at first look.
4. Photos with resumes
Resumes with photos are largely considered to be unprofessional, but profiles on LinkedIn with photos get more views. Adjust accordingly.
People will rarely contact references off a resume--in fact, they're considered fillers for people without much experience. Leave it off; recruiters will contact you if they need it.
6. Long job descriptions
When it takes too much time to read what exactly your role was, it's unlike people will read it at all. Cut down, bullet point, and paraphrase to brief perfection.
7. Salary figures
There's no reason to disclose such personal information unless specifically asked. And this is a definite no-no on your LinkedIn profile.
8. Age identifiers
Past a certain point, there's no point to including graduation years. Don't give yourself away by including more about your age than you need to.
9. Generic job titles
Unless you don't have a better role than "intern" to put, getting specific is much more beneficial than not in telling recruiters what you did do.
10. The word "Resume"
Eyes will instantly glaze over if the title of your resume is "Resume."
11. Another page
One-page resumes are standard and--what's more--expected. Refrain from adding another page unless you just can't avoid it; people will rarely care enough to read it.
12. A home phone number
Instead of your home phone number (assuming you still have one), use your mobile number. You need to be immediately reachable by a potential employer wherever you may be.
13. Gaps in work experience
If you've got times when you were unemployed (most of us do), then think about something you did during that time to fill the gap. Did you volunteer for a community-based nonprofit, or tutor kids, or create a home-based business? Try your best to fill the gaps.
14. An "Objective" section
These rarely add anything to your resume, other than stating generic attributes about your motivation and goals, like everyone else.
15. Basic resume templates
Old school, text-only resumes are dying with the advent of graphic design technologies. Find a new, appealing look that will catch someone's eye.
16. Secondary skills
Only add skills that you think will actually be useful to emphasize, such as bilingualism, or expertise in a field that wouldn't otherwise be indicated in your past experience.
17. Personal information
Leave out ethnicity, religious affiliation, or other sensitive information. It's better to remain more private than not until otherwise asked. If, for some reason, they know too much, it could actually hurt you.