After being in the recruiting world for more than 15 years and having looked over thousands of resumes, I’ve come across many resumes containing information that should be left off a professional document. When writing (or rewriting) your resume, keep the following in mind as what not to include on a resume:
Provide a job summary, not a personal summary
When you are looking for a position, specifically in the IT space, you should always include a technical summary of your skills – the programming languages, databases, and platforms you have worked on. All of that information is important to prospective employers. What you do not want to include on your professional resume is too much personal information. You do not need to put your height/weight/date of birth on your resume, as this information is not required necessary in finding a position in the industry. Additionally, do not include your hobbies—hiring managers/HR managers are typically not interested in these areas of your life that do not impact your ability to do the job. Though it’s great that you like to play checkers or ultimate Frisbee in your free time but this does not need to be included on your resume
List achievements, but don’t go overboard
Your resume is your first introduction to your potential future employer and you only get one chance to make that first impression. Be sure to include any pertinent professional memberships and certifications that you might have received, but don’t include your perfect attendance a
ward from your high school, or even your college GPA unless it is extremely impressive. When putting together your resume, remember your audiences: HR Managers, recruiters, IT managers, and decision makers who review hundreds of resumes to fill any given position. Most are looking for a resume that is easy to follow and digest that tells the story of a candidate’s professional work history, but not their biography.
Avoid common red flags
I have seen thousands of resumes, and the best always have a good flow, are easy to follow and don’t have any “red flags.” Red flags can be dates of employment that overlap, gaps in the resume, spelling errors and grammatical/syntax errors. When writing a resume, you must provide information that is in fact true. If there are gaps in your resume or if you list overlapping dates, you will be asked to explain. Additionally, it’s imperative for your resume to be perfect from a
language and grammar standpoint. In this job market, something as small as a grammar error can keep someone from getting an interview.
In summary, when crafting a resume keep the information professional and only include information that is pertinent to the job you are applying for. Also, have a trusted adviser or recruiter review your resume to double check spelling, grammar and for other errors; another set of eyes is always a good thing. Again keep the information professional and do not include too much personal data. It is nice to know that you enjoy cooking or salsa dancing, but your hobbies are not going to help you get a new position.
Always remember your resume is the first step in the hiring process. It is a way of opening the door to an interview. You do not want to include anything on your resume that might hinder the process or put off potential managers. If you need assistance with getting your resume ready to submit to IT employers, we can help. Good luck in your search!
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