Do OR Do Not Put These On Your Resume
- Personal Information - DO NOT.
Your life is your life during the Resume submission and Interviewing. Once you are hired you may want or need to open up on your personal life to add spouse and/or children, bios, grades, offences, etc. As discussed before, ALWAYS use a professional e-mail address. BigHotSassyMomma is not a professional e-mail address along with many others. College is behind you, act accordingly. If you do not this will potentially impact you without any awareness to it.
Insistence for Social Security Numbers in the Applicant Submission Process are growing. If possible, avoid this as they only need your Social Security number if you are employed. You never know with certainty who will have access to this over time despite their security investments and practices. If you must enter it, consider using all zero's or all nine's. Sometimes this works. Fortunately they often don't tell the computer these are illegal Social Security numbers.
Awards received and other recognition are strongly encouraged for display on your Resume, Profile and Facebook pages. You warned it, take the credit!
- "References available upon request." - DO NOT.
1. Wastes needed selling space on the Resume.
2. If they want References would you really refuse to provide them?
3. Many References are "cherry picked" and not necessarily representative of
your total work history.
4. Some Reference are 100% bogus sometimes crafted between members of
the same family.
5. Some companies won't ask for references any while others will insist. If
you are known to people in the company, enlist their help to speak for you.
- Vague, Generic, Cliched, Fluffy Items, Outdated Skills or General Objectives
- DO NOT - BE SPECIFIC.
Whether you are using Resumes, LinkedIn Profiles, or Facebook, people will find you using specific keywords nothing else. If you want to be found, be as specific as they will be. Make your objective statement dynamic with high impact. DO NOT have an Objective Statement ... that is obsolete as you are submitting to A SPECIFIC JOB. Do not use broad, generic statements as people hire for specifics. If you are still on Windows 95 DO NOT ADVERTISE IT, same with older versions of Office: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access; Microsoft Project, Visio, etc. If you are more than 2 levels behind you need to update your skills using on-line free classes.
Short Term Jobs - USE SPARINGLY.
Employers prefer long term positions with long-term objectives. If you have short-term jobs, such as a contract, make clear it was a contract position especially when the economy or industry conditions impacted your career. It also helps to avoid perception you are a "job hopper". Many employers forget about economic downturns, Corporate Mergers, Major Downsizings, or Companies Closing in their industry, an industry area within their company or the national or global economy. Help remind them of that. Many hiring managers have to be reminded about the Y2K impacts to over 1.5 million in
IT in the United States alone.
High School jobs
These should be included ONLY IF you have little to no other prior work experiennce. However, if you discovered the cure for cancer, found a way to provide a college education to the average student in 1 year, leave it off. It consumes precious space and adds little to no value to your Resume.
- Align Resume to Job Description
The buyer has told you want they need and want. You spend time telling them about experience unrelated to their needs and wants. This is a waste of paper and disrespectful of their time. Keep it focused. If you have experience related to items required reflect that as "value add" making you look better.
- Stay Focused on the Job Description
Everyone reading your Resume will be seeking alignment to the Job Description. You cannot change their job description but you can show your "value add" ... everyone loves to get the better deal! Do not get wrapped up in details about jobs beyond 15 to 20 years unless they being meaningful value to your submission. Unless you graduated from college within the past 10 years, forget college UNLESS you:
a) won an award for "real-word" problem solving competitions or classes
b) have a recommendation from one or more Professors/Teaching Assistants
c) elected officer in a professional organizational
d) received recognition from a professional organization in your field
e) received honors for academics or contribution to your University or College
We all want to "put the gold" into our Profiles and Resumes but those reading them are seeking alignment with their Job Description. If you have space to add to your "gold", go for it. If it pushes you into another page, rethink it.
- OBJECTIVE STATEMENT
These really date back into the 1950's when companies accepted all Resumes then sought to place them into a position. Those days are long gone friends.
You apply to a Job Number. If that is NOT a job you want, why did you apply?
Dump this and use the "Resume Real Estate" for more important messaging.
- PHOTOGRAPHS / HEAD SHOT
Are you a Model or Actor? If so, being able to see your face is important to those reviewing your Resume. If you are nearly anyone else, do NOT include it as it may be returned to you. Employers are concerned the photograph can be the foundation for a discrimination charge into your nationality, religion, sex, race, age and many others. YET it is deemed save to put your LinkedIn URL on your Resume where you have the same picture. Government at Work.
- INAPPROPRIATE E-MAIL ADDRESSES
- ADDRESSES (e-Mail, Residence, driving) MAY BE HURTING YOU
Some get this ... many do not and pay the price.
1. YOUR e-MAIL ADDRESS
STOP AND THINK. Would you hire BigHotSassyMomma@domain.com?
How about MoreFunToPlayNotWork@domain.com? Personal e-mail
addresses are smart that include your name. If you MUST use a number
make it sure it does not look like a year you graduated from High School
or were born as someone will try to interpret it that way. Inappropriate
e-mail Addresses with close friends/family is OK, but THEY HAVE NO
PLACE IN THE BUSINESS WORLD. SHOW your professionalism. SHOW
your maturity. AND KEEP THIS E-MAIL ADDRESS FOR LIFE! You never know
who may be trying to reach you years from know waiting to offer you one
1. ARE YOU OPEN TO RELOCATION?
If so avoid from putting your address on your Resume as this can trigger
questions for Recruiters who may simply pass on you over the address.
Relocations are expensive, take considerable time away from work to deal
with, something will always be damaged or lost and and the process to
file claims are a nightmare. Three moves is roughly equivalent to ONE
FIRE due to the additional wear and tear no matter how well things are
packed. Then you have the challenges of mastering your new job, learn
all the new names and faces, and remember where you car was last seen
2. OUT-OF-STATE BUT A SHORT COMMUTE TO THE JOB?
This happens or you live in a city not well known but is basically a
"bedroom" city. Make these notes towards the bottom last page below
your Education. Many recruiters do not know the communities near the
job site. They do not know you're out-of-state with a 15 mile commute
to their workplace while others in-state may face a 40 or more mile drive.
Great Recruiters use an on-line Maps tool to check the drive distance.
Lesser Recruiters will not and that becomes YOUR LOSS. Inform them!
- MULTIPLE PHONE NUMBERS
Recruiters and Managers are busy people yet many job seekers force them
into guessing which phone number to use. DO NOT put them into the game
of trying to guess how to reach you. Worse, which number DID THEY CALL
YOU AT about your Interview tomorrow and will you find it in time? Did you
setup voice-mail on all these numbers and is it professional? This is a
double edge sword that can kill you twice. Don't do this to either of you.
- PERSONAL INFORMATION
There are a number of personal things an employer CANNOT ask you prior
without it involving a background check request or part of pre-employment.
This is some of the limited protections Government provides for you.
DO NOT OFFER OR PROVIDE:
Social Security Number Marital Status Nationality
Religious Beliefs Children Age or Birthdate
Place of Worship if any
DO NOT INCLUDE ANY HOBBIES UNLESS they are tied to your profession or
skills that bring value DIRECTLY to the employer. The longer you have been
in a profession the less valuable hobbies are.
- SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
The number of Social Media Sites grows quickly. Showing an employer YOU
are involved with all the most trendy and hot spots is only of value if your
role is in Social Media work. Plus more sites means more places you MUST
protect yourself from unwanted postings on your pages that could leave a
negative image of yourself at the hands of another. Insure you keep things
locked down from any updates, insertions and deletions.
Focus on LinkedIn.com, a free professional web networking resource that
has grown for many years at 2 NEW MEMBERS PER SECOND and have over 400
MILLION people you can connect and network with for your job search. You
want to leave a good impression of yourself to the world. How much time do
you have to do a high quality job across multiple different tools?
- EMPLOYERS CONTACT INFORMATION
Not needed and can actually hurt you. For your former manager who really
liked you and your work. Do you want their day to be mostly answering
phone calls about you and damage your relationship? Do you want them to
be called by Sales Reps every day, unhappy customers, etc.? Do you really
want your manager to know you are leaving? There is a time and place for
this and your Resume is neither.
- ATS OR SCANNED RESUMES
The passing of a Resume to managers is a lost practice. Most Resumes are
scanned into equipment that is old technology and not always does justice
to the effort you invested in your Resume. Here are some of the areas in a
scanned Resume that are likely to do you harm:
Pictures or Illustrations Embedded Tables Headers or Footers
Embedded lines Signatures Scanned Items
Often your well formatted Resume become scrambled. Having copies of
your resume on light colored bond paper, unstapled, without paperclips,
unfolded will often be well received by those interviewing you because
they are READABLE and helps to set you apart from your competitors!
- FONTS AND COLORS
Some published Executive Resumes are not including lots of color, font sizes,
images and are printed on extra long paper to make them more difficult to
file or put down. There is great risk in going "hip" in a conservative process
unless you are a graphics or advertising person and then some risk exists. If
you are in graphics focused professional, it is still recommended you create
a Resume in a traditional format to accommodate the scanning. IF you are
not in their computer, you may not exist as a candidate in their process.
Fonts: Arial, Calbri, Cambria, Tahmoa, Book Antique or Franklin Goth
are NOT known to confuse scanned resume. Use them.
AVOID from mixing multiple fonts as this distracts the reader.
Sizes: Avoid from using more than 3 Font Sizes as three help you use size
to signal different sections of your Resume visually along with blank
Bold and/or all Capitalized Characters help with visual separation
and as a means to drive attention for they eye.
Colors: Minimal color, black is recommended. Avoid light colors that will
not scan well. Dark blues and dark greens work well.
- SALARY AND OTHER INCOME
Not Resume appropriate. If the application requires a salary information,
address this in your cover letter. The person who talks salary numbers first
is often the person who loses the discussion. They need to determine if
you will fit their budget; if the money isn't there you can't be there Websites
like Glassdoor.com can provide salary information for many companies by
job title and city.
- NOT-JOB RELATED INFORMATION
Your resume should focus on your most recent and relevant experience that
is called for in the Job Description.
If you are an entry-level professional, get references from your Professors in
your professional area of study as they essentially are your managers in
college which is how YOU want to view it. Focus on any internships you had. Industry related summer jobs. Awards and recognitions. Scholastic honors,
competitive "real world" projects that you or your team received awards for
ESPECIALLY if you headed the team. PAST PERFORMANCE IS AN INDICATOR
OF FUTURE PERFORMANCE. Show them your success in real-life challenges
and you will be seen as desirable. Get recommendations from any of your
processors and industry professionals you worked with on your LinkedIn
profile to make a significant impact!
Experienced applicants should use the company name and job title with
Accomplishment Statements to grab the attention of Recruiters and the
Managers involved. Work to get recommendations on your LinkedIn Profile
from those you worked with and college professors if possible. When it is
possible, include people from within the companies you are applying to for
their recommendations. This mitigates hiring risks to the managers making
it easier for them to select you and defend their recommendation.
EXCEPTIONS are few but relevant. Volunteerism has been on the rise since
2010 as companies realized it was a good image for their employees to send.
If you are actively involved in charitable or community efforts consider adding
a brief section. This says that you do care about others, will help others, are
likely to mentor other employees and be a true team player. Interpersonal
traits being incremental value to you as a prospective employee and your
attitude towards others will save time, costs and build strong teams. If you
do list these, assume your involvement undergo some validation/verification.
If it cannot be checked out you could damage your chances of employment.
- TOO MUCH HISTORY
Focus your background on items from the Job Description PLUS your
Accomplishment Statements showcasing your ability to see and achieve what
others did not, could not or would not. This is a strong differentiation.
Consider excluding items beyond 15 years. If this causes you to loose some
great and relevant experience and skills, create a section as if it were an
employer and label it as "Pre-" and then a year. This allows you to include it,
get credit for great things and not provide clear insight into age.
- REFERENCES UPON REQUEST OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL REFERENCES
If you are asked for references indicating a true interest in hiring you (if the
decision was not already made), would you REALLY REFUSE? Of course not!
This is also a "hold over" from the 1950's era of Job Search Best Practices.
This space on your Resume is out dated and is a waste of space.
Companies know that many if not most references are:
- "Cherry Picked" - you selected people you knew who would provide
and "sign songs" of your incredible accomplishments
and abilities. Value to the employer: Good or Low
- Big Fabrication - employers don't validate references as a general rule.
It is difficult. People have created 100% bogus
references for positions they never held using close
friends, family and even their Mother to hide reality.
Value to the employer: Good but may be 100% bogus
This is in part, why Recommendations on LinkedIn from people who can
confirmed with background information provided in their Profile, is
superior and more reliable than traditional References. Some companies
still focus on having those Recommendations.
Try to identify former managers or coworkers who will serve as someone
as a Reference and ideally a provide a Recommendation on LinkedIn. This
meets the employer's needs, allows you to prepare your volunteer, and the
volunteer to potentially avoid the telephone call by posting their comments
on LinkedIn. Everyone spends less time, it is better documented, and it is
easily confirmed using LinkedIn. You may need to help them understand
the process but this is a great investment of your time to further build a
- WHITE SPACE
There is a temptation to cram everything in minimal pages. Put your Resume on a wall and walk to the opposite side of the room and look at your Resume.
Does it resume a brick of black letters? Using blank lines helps add white space which improves readability which encourages the eyes to tell the brain to keep going ... it is attractive and hopefully balanced. If you get past the computer, white space can add value to your submission. Make it look good!
- MAILING ADDRESS
Generally deemed unnecessary in this electronic age. Besides, why waits 2-3 days when they can reach out to you in a few minutes electronically. Leave the street off but the City and State are acceptable as it shows you're local.
- MULTIPLE PHONE NUMBERS
No one wants to track you down across multiple telephone numbers. Use a cell phone number with voicemail that tracks your calls well. Don't add to their confusion and frustration.
- SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS THAT ARE NOT RELEVANT
Stick with the large professional focused accounts like Linkedin. You do not want the risk of someone posting that picture of you being underdressed and clearly drunk.
- EMPLOYERS CONTACT INFORMATION
Low to negative benefit, can hurt relationships, could get your fired.
- "I" or "me" or "Prasing adjectives"
Use your word processor to insure these are not in your Resume. No first person words, no third person with pronouns. Do not include any self praising adjectives like "savvy", "smart", "a highly strategic leader". Greater impact is realized when you show case through an accomplishment. Let the reader discover how great you really are.
- SALARY HISTORY
Your Resume is about your professional experience and skills, not how over or under paid you may have been. And if you want to work for a place that offers less compensation, you may be disqualified over your listed salary. Don't do it!
- UNRELATED INFORMATION
Personal stuff, unless it plays directly to the corporate focus, should be left as personal.
- TOO MUCH OF YOUR PAST
What you did beyond 20 years ago may not be that relevant unless it is a soft and interpersonal skill matter. Even then, this dates you quickly. Age discrimination begins around 45 to 50 despite many people will need to work until their mid 70's because of the many layoffs, financial failures and other major setback many workers have faced.
- EMBEDDED TABLES
These, along with images, footers, headers and other attachments are invisible to most if not all scanning systems for Resumes. Don't shoot yourself in the foot trying to be fancy.
- DRIVER'S LICENSE NUMBER
Do not provide this information on your Resume.
- NON-DISCLOSURE, CONFIDENTIAL, CLASSIFIED, SECRET, etc. DOCUMENTS
This is for any source whether it is your current or former employer(s) or any government. It will destroy your application as your new employer may be next to have their secrets put into the hands of others. Not worth the risk.
- PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, RACE, RELIGION, PARENTAL STATUS,
PARENTHOOD, POLITICAL AFFILIATION, etc., etc.
Do not do this. It is protected information that you SHOULD not offer.
- FINANCIAL INFORMATION INCLUDING BANKS, CREDIT UNIONS, BROKERAGES
This should go on this document HOWEVER it may be required as part of a Financial Background Check for appropriate positions.