By Elizabeth T. Schoch
Last time, we talked about what should always be included in your resume. This month, we'll take a look at what you should never include in it.
Keep It Professional
Your resume should be designed to present the details about your professional self. The key word here is professional. Your resume is not the place for personal information, other than your address, phone number, and email address. Never include your birth date, marital status, or hobbies on your resume. You should also omit any references to religious or political affiliations. These things are not relevant to the prospective employer's evaluation of you. Also, be very careful about including your blog. If it is strictly personal, it's probably not a good idea to include the link on your resume.
Keep It Relevant
A resume is not an autobiography. You do not need to include every job you've ever had or every school you've ever attended. Only include the information that will promote your skills in the best possible light. This includes employment dates. If you have had gaps in your employment for one reason or another, consider choosing a resume format that omits dates. Make sure that everything on your resume is relevant to the position you are seeking.
Keep References in Their Place
It's great that you've got enthusiastic references, but you don't need to list them on your resume. Create a separate reference sheet you can take with you to the interview. That old line "References available upon request" is not needed. Instead, use that space to sell your skills.
Keep Your Photo Off
In most cases, a resume should not include your photograph. There are exceptions to this rule. For instance, if you're applying for a position in the hospitality or performing arts fields, the job posting may include a request for your photo. A good rule of thumb is don't supply a photograph unless you've been asked for one. Save your smiling face for presentation at the interview. It is fine, however, to put your photo on your LinkedIn profile and include your LinkedIn URL on your resume.
Keep It Clean
I can't stress this enough: Your resume must be error-free! No typos, no grammatical mistakes, no misspellings. It pays to have at least two other people proofread your resume before you send it out.
By paying careful attention to what you put in your resume and what you leave out, you'll have a much better chance of creating a hard-working resume that will help you land your desired job!