Resumes & Cover Letters

5 Things You Should Never Put on Your Resume

Written by Peter Jones

We all know how crucial a resume can be. It’s the document that gets you past the computer, through the door, into the interview. And you can’t get the job without getting through those stages. You’ve added in all the things you’ve been told are resume must-haves, but have you considered there might be a few things you should take out of your resume? Here are 5 things that you should delete from your resume as soon as possible.

1. Objective

The Objective statement has gone the way of the dodo. To avoid being hopelessly retro, take it out. Your Objective statement probably just says that you’re looking for a challenging position in a great and growing company anyway, right? That tells the recruiter nothing whatsoever, and it undoubtedly also bores them. A Summary statement is much more effective. If you don’t have one, sub one in for your Objective. Either way, delete the Objective part.

2. Laundry list

Do you have a section where you merely list all of your skills and the key- or buzzwords you were told were must-haves for computer screening? The trouble with these sections is that a) they are usually unreadable by the very computer programs they’re aimed toward enticing, and b) this is a very transparent ploy. Throwing a bunch of keywords at a recruiter won’t convince them. Thread those keywords through the body of your resume text instead.

3. Page 2

Except in very specific contexts in very specific careers, a second page is never a good idea. You can probably expect that no one else but you will ever bother reading your second page. Better to edit your brains out, pack the first page full of your greatest hits and most impressive skills and work experience, and save the tree.

4. Fancy formatting

Again, unreadable to most employers–especially if you’re uploading to a computer system. Anything that isn’t plain text will be scrapped. That includes text boxes, tables, bulleted lists, swanky fonts, page borders, etc. Save the creativity for the wording of your cover letter, or the interview process. Keep your resume clean, standard, and simple.

5. Hobbies

It used to be in vogue to include a section on personal interests and hobbies. Unless you can make a case that these have some impact on your qualifications or work performance, skip this section—usually it ends up on page 2 anyway! Save your personal flourishes for the interview, when such things can really liven the conversation and help you shine.

About the author

Peter Jones