10 Things to Keep Off Your Résumé

Avoid listing these 10 things on paper when applying for a job.



Writing a résumé can be anxiety inducing at any age.

Before you even nail an interview, you need to be able to stand out amongst other contenders on paper. That means it’s imperative to be engaging from the start and not overwhelm hiring managers with irrelevant information.

But how can you know what’s attention-grabbing and what’s unnecessary? Business Insider turned to career experts for 31 things you should never include on your résumé. Below are 10, in no particular order.

1. An objective

Unless you’re changing industries, there’s no need to include this line.

2. Hobbies

Your extracurricular interests may say a lot about you, but they don’t say how they add value to the position you’re applying for.

3. Your age

Age should not determine your fit for a job, but if you do not want it to be factored into consideration at all, then eliminate your college graduation date. Be mindful of other surprising things that may give away your age as well

4. Text overload

Using a 0.5-inch margin with miniature font to fit your qualifications in on one page is a big no-no. To avoid overloading the hiring manager, keep white space in and use no more than a 0.8-inch margin.

5. References

If employers want to contact your references, they will ask. This gives you time to let your colleagues know someone may be calling bout you. You can also skip the “references upon request” line.

6. Inconsistent formatting

Sticking to one format appears neat and helps employers to quickly scan your résumé for qualifications. Keep all dates and spacing the same.

7. Incorrect present tense

Current jobs should be written in the present tense; all others should be written in past tense.

8. Unprofessional email address

Never expect a serious employer to contact you when you’re still using a silly email address. If your email address is questionable, create a free new one with your name or initials.

9. Obvious words

Listing the words “phone number,” “address,” or “email address” before your contact information is unnecessary and a waste of space.

10. More than 15 years of experience

Hiring managers are interested in your most relevant experience, which means what you did 20 or 30 years ago may not be meaningful to the position you are applying for today. Avoid including dates on education and certifications that are older than 15 years as well.

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