5 Things to Leave Off Your Resume

Your resume is a potential employer’s first impression of you. On average, hiring managers spend approximately 20 seconds reviewing each resume before they decide whether or not the candidate should move forward. Since your professional fate is essentially determined by a snap decision, it is important to make those few seconds count and not include irrelevant information to deter your chance at being offered an interview. Here are five areas of your background that are better left off your resume.

  1. Outdated or unrelated experience. Everything that is included on your resume should lead the employer to believe you are the right candidate for the position. So, incorporating information about your past experiences takes away from the time a recruiter could spend reading about your experience that makes you a good fit based on the job description.
  2. Personal information or achievements. Information about your personal interests, hobbies or achievements is not what employers are looking for when reading a resume. Instead, you should focus on information about why you would be a successful applicant for the job.
  3. Explanations for gaps in work history. While you may have been between jobs for a few months or even longer, don’t include a lengthy explanation of any work gaps. You’ll have an opportunity to share those details, if necessary, in the interview.
  4. Long paragraphs with no bullet points. It’s essential to make your resume easy to read as employers will typically scan a resume. If your resume is filled with bulky paragraphs, your qualifications and experience may go unseen.
  5. Grammatical errors and misspellings: This may seem like common sense, but it’s crucial to proofread your resume before applying for jobs. Your resume acts as an example of your writing skills and attention to detail. Typographical errors will relay a poor message to employers.

Check out our job search resources to learn what you should include on a resume and how to prepare when you land that interview.