9 Things That Should Never Be on Your Resume

Resume FailYour resume. Often, your first – and last – impression.

And yet so many don’t take the time to make that first impression a good one. We carefully choose the format that best represents us. We agonize over which font to use. And we proofread over and over… only to have the resume rejected, over and over.

Why? Because you haven’t yet removed all the fluff that employers do not care about!

Take a look at your resume, and be sure to cut out these nine unnecessary items that send the wrong message to potential employers:

1. Anything After Bullet No. 4

The difference between you and a job is the ability to quickly explain yourself, because recruiters don’t have time to read about everything you did. You need to decide what matters and what needs to go.

If you ONLY had four bullets, what would they be?

2. Anything from High School

You’re an adult in the real world — yea, this real world. After college, nothing from high school counts anymore. If you’re a recent grad and need to lean on college credentials, select the best stuff and not every single club you joined.

Treasurer of your freshman dorm? Wow! When can you start!?

3. Vague Descriptions

“Maintained a large database and assisted with organization’s fundraising efforts.”

That’s the worst way to put it. Where are the specifics? The sizzle?

“Maintained a database of 42,000 donors and helped the organization raise $11.4 million during the 2013 capital campaign.”

Details make all the difference.

4. Your “Relevant” College Classes

What matters more: a course you took on business management or the “company” you created through a class project? Employers don’t care you took Supply Chain Management 357. They do care about the skills you gained from it.

Again, if you must rely on college, spare the course titles and focus on how the experience gained will be of direct benefit to this employer.

5. Words “Such As” and “Utilize”

Such as” and “utilize” scream “I want to come off smart in the worst way please hire me k thanks bye. Exchange “such as” for “like” and “utilize” with “use.”

And don’t utilize …use… fluff words like “amazing” and “dynamic” – so overdone.

6. Page Three

A two-page resume from a 20-something is highly questionable. That means three is completely out of the question.

Give employers a tight, shrewdly worded one-pager. Don’t make it longer to “impress” or make yourself sound smarter…

7. The Phrase “Responsible For”

How many times does it appear in your resume? “Responsible for” is flat and uninteresting; go with words like “oversee” and “managed.”

Action verbs demonstrate leadership and accountability.

8. Microsoft Word

Yes, of course you know how to use Word. So does your grandmother.

Leave this “skill” off the list.

9. That Self-absorbed Mission Statement

“I am an energetic marketing professional who enjoys social media management and developing branding strategies.”

Stop thinking of what you like to do. You don’t matter here. Start thinking of what the company needs. The difference in tone is striking:

“I am an energetic marketing professional who can help <Company Name> build its brand and grow business.”

What other parts of a resume need to go? Share below!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at News to Live By!


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Danny Rubin headshotAbout the Author: Danny Rubin is the creator and writer of News To Live By, a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice and leadership lessons “hidden” in the day’s top stories. In one short-and-sweet column, Danny recaps a top news story and explains how it can make us better at our jobs. He’s a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and Business Insider, and his work has also been featured in The New York Times. Follow News To Live By on Twitter.



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