What information should be left OFF your resume

In the United States we are not accustomed to seeing loads of personal information on a professional resume as is the case in Europe and other parts of the world.  It is not atypical for a candidate to put a photograph in the corner and include marital status and birthdate including***GASP*** the actual year.  With the laws we have in place to discourage discrimination in the workplace based on race, age, gender, etc., it is not necessary to include this information and in fact, I recommend against it.

So what things should you leave OFF your resume?

  1. Birthdate including year of birth:  Sorry folks, this just isn’t relevant information.  Don’t put it on your resume.   Period.
  2. Objective:  Want to rule yourself out of a job?  Then go ahead and put an objective.  If a potential employer reads that you want a challenging and fulfilling position that utilizes your critical thinking and recent MBA, they may think that you will not be happy long-term in their Analyst role, even if all those things are true and possible.  Exchange Objective for Skills Summary and you have a better chance of getting a call based on a key word that matches with the employer’s needs.
  3. Marital status and children: please refer to number one.
  4. Hobbies and Interests: Again, this is just another area that is not relevant to the job and if anything, the fact that you travel and compete in Texas Hold’em Tournaments every weekend  could imply to a hiring manager that you may have a hard time coming in to work relaxed and ready to work on Monday morning.
  5. High School: Really?  Do I have to say why?

A resume needs to have enough relevant information to display your career experience.  While personal chemistry plays a very large role in the hire, the best place to let your personality shine and connect with a hiring manager is during a personal interview.  As Sargent Joe Friday,  the old school detective once said, “Just the facts, ma’am.”


Resume Tip: Less Is NOT More!

The argument wages on. I just had this conversation with a candidate yesterday with 25+ years of experience and a very short, one-page resume. Should your resume be limited to one page or should it be expanded with more detail? As an executive recruiter focusing in technical areas such as information technology and engineering, less is not more. If you have been out of college for more than five years, it is crucial to list detail and depth to your resume. Many industry “experts” accuse recruiters of having short attention spans so therefore recommend you limit your resume to highlights and summaries all on one page.

I must be the lone dissenter of this practice because I just don’t agree. Maybe I do have a longer-than-average attention span compared to my other headhunting colleagues, I don’t know, but here’s my opinion in the for-what-it’s worth category:

Your resume should be more heavily emphasized with experience details in the past ten years of work experience. If you are going to cut or shave anywhere, make it in your early career.

USE BULLET POINTS-not lengthy paragraphs!!! (If I should die tomorrow, will someone please carry on my fight against the paragraph format please?!)

List all relevant software/hardware utilized in each job, not in a big skills summary. They will be able to see you haven’t touched SQL in two years or they can clearly see that you have build experience with Epic Ambulatory in your most recent job and not in the distant past.

Please toot your own horn with an accomplishments section or bullet point under each job listed for something that you did that was notable, saved money, created a time-saving process, etc.

List all certifications early in your resume such as ‘Cloverleaf Certified’ or ‘NextGen Certified Professional’. This will heighten your chances of a recruiter or hiring manager seeing the information early so they don’t delete your resume and move on.

If you are just too scared to extend your resume beyond one or two pages, create a project list as a separate document and send with the resume.

Less is more when it comes to jewelry, makeup, and cologne, but it is the express opinion of this recruiter that it does not when it comes to marketing yourself and your skills with a short resume.

1 5 6 7 Page 7 of 7