What NOT to Include in Your Resume

Nov 15, 2022 Share
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It may seem obvious but having the sharpest resume possible can mean the difference between landing the job and being completely passed over for it. But a sharp resume isn’t one that simply includes and highlights the “right” things. No. A sharp resume is one that also excludes the “wrong” things.

We’ve previously covered a few simple tips you can use to improve your resume, and today, we offer you tips on what not to include in your resume; to help you increase your chances at landing that job.

Before we get into what you should not include in your resume, it’s important to know that some resumes will get noticed by employers over others, even if they include a few things that should not be in them.

These winning resumes, problematic as they may be, have an overview at the top (how you fit into the position), are not overly cluttered with unnecessary information, and are roughly two pages long. So, as we begin to discuss what not to include in your resume, keep this “format” in mind, and use it.

Here are 12 things NOT to include in your resume:

12: Don’t include a list of ALL your previous work roles and responsibilities. Employers are looking for skills, roles and responsibilities that pertain to the position they’re hiring for. However, don’t leave gaps in your employment history. Simply name the job, employer, and dates, and move on to what matters for the new position.

11: Salary desires: Do not include your salary or benefits expectations in your resume. By doing this, you’re immediately giving off the wrong message to the employer. It shows you’re interested in you, rather than in them. Save your salary expectations for the interview.

10: Typos and bad grammar: Obviously, exclude typos and poor grammar from your resume. Before you ever send your resume to an employer, run it through spell-check, and have someone else review it for clarity. Employers are very high on communications skills, and this includes the written word.

9: Irrelevant skills: Employers are hiring for a particular reason. This reason, and the skills needed to get the job, are often included in the job posting. When writing your resume, you should exclude any skills that are irrelevant to the position. Read the job posting carefully and highlight your skills that pertain to it.

8: Expired licenses and certifications: Do not include any expired materials in your resume, at all. Expired licenses and certifications are irrelevant. If you need a valid and updated license or certification for the job, renew it and highlight it.

7: Performance reviews from former employers: Chances are, a hiring manager will dismiss any performance reviews from the past as irrelevant, no matter how shining they may be. If an employer wants to know about your past performance, they’ll ask your former employers on their own.

6: Testimonials from old clients or customers: Just like performance reviews, hiring managers are likely to dismiss this information, especially as testimonials are often embellished. Don’t’ use them. Instead, you can talk about your former clients/customers during the interview process.

5: Personal details: You may love taking long walks on the beach at sunset, and that’s great. But keep it to yourself. You only have limited space to make an impression with your qualified skills. Leave the personal info for when you’re asked about yourself in an interview. Even then, don’t get too personal, and keep your focus on the job.

4: Religious, political, or recreational information: As the old saying goes, never talk about politics or religion in polite conversation. This goes for your resume too. Your politics, religion or recreational activities likely have nothing to do with the job you’re applying for anyhow, so don’t mention them.

3: Your personal social media accounts: Unless you’re applying for a social media specialist position, or you’re sharing your professional LinkedIn profile, it’s wise to avoid giving any employer your personal social media account information.

2: Negativity: Never include negative commentary on your former employers. Hiring managers will be turned off immediately by bitter candidates. Even if your former employer is deserving of it, never write a negative word, ever.

1: Lies: the number one thing you should never include in your resume is lies. If you have to lie about your skills, background, or education, you’re not qualified for the job. Instead of lying, find a job you are qualified for. With your resume, honesty is the best policy.

Now that you know what not to include in your resume, and have already reviewed the tips you can use to improve your resume, it’s time to find your dream job. has thousands of jobs available, all across the country. Best of all, our network of eager employers, who offer jobs in nearly every field, for nearly every level of candidate…

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All you need to do is go to and use the search bars. You can type in whatever job you’re looking for, in any location in America, and a whole world of opportunity will open for you. It’s that easy!

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