What Not to Include on a Resume?

What Not to Include on a Resume? – Best Tips & Do’s and Don’ts

6 min read 1,239 views
Posted by Aarna Tiwari Nov 02, 2023

Your resume is often your first opportunity to make a lasting impression on potential employers. As a fresher or college student, crafting an effective resume is crucial to securing that coveted job or internship. However, it’s equally important to know what not to include on your resume. This article will provide a detailed guide on what you should avoid when creating your resume, helping you stand out in the competitive job market. 

We’ll cover the top 10 things you should never include on your resume, offer dos and don’ts of resume writing, and highlight common mistakes to avoid.

Topics Covered in the Article

  1. Top 10 Things You Should Never Include on Your Resume
  2. The Do’s and Don’ts of Resume Writing
  3. Common Mistakes to Avoid on Your Resume
  4. FAQs on What Not to Include on a Resume

Top 10 Things You Should Never Include on Your Resume

As a fresher or student, you may be eager to include everything you can on your resume to impress potential employers. However, there are a number of things you should avoid including, as they can make your resume look unprofessional or even disqualify you from consideration.

Here are the top 10 things you should never include on your resume:

  1. Personal information: This includes your full mailing address, marital status, religious beliefs, and other personal details. Employers do not need this information to assess your qualifications for the job, and including it can make you a target for identity theft.
  2. Irrelevant work experience: If you’re applying for a job in software engineering, don’t include your experience working as a cashier at a grocery store. Instead, highlight your extracurricular activities, internships, and academic accomplishments.
  3. General skills: Instead of listing general skills like “good communication skills” or “team player,” be specific and provide examples of how you’ve demonstrated these skills in the past. For example, instead of saying “good communication skills,” you could say “Developed and delivered a presentation on social media marketing to a team of 20.”
  4. Objective statements: Objective statements are outdated and no longer necessary. Instead of focusing on what you want from the job, focus on what you can offer the employer.
  5. References: Don’t list your references on your resume. Employers will ask for them if they need them.
  6. Photos: Unless specifically requested, do not include a photo on your resume. This can be seen as unprofessional and discriminatory.
  7. Buzzwords and clichés: Avoid using buzzwords and clichés like “synergy,” “thought leader,” and “value-added.” These words are overused and don’t tell employers anything meaningful about your skills and experience.
  8. Negative information: Don’t include any negative information on your resume, such as reasons you left previous jobs or details about personal problems. Focus on the positive and highlight your accomplishments.
  9. Lies or exaggerations: Never lie or exaggerate on your resume. If you’re caught, you’ll be immediately disqualified from the job and may even damage your reputation.
  10. Grammar and spelling errors: Proofread your resume carefully before submitting it to potential employers. Even the smallest grammar or spelling error can make you look unprofessional.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Resume Writing

Here are some additional dos and don’ts of resume writing:

Do’s of Resume Writing

  • Highlight Your Achievements. Focus on your accomplishments, including projects, awards, or internships that demonstrate your skills and contributions.
  • Use Action Verbs. Start bullet points with strong action verbs like “managed,” “developed,” or “achieved” to convey a sense of proactivity and impact.
  • Customize your resume for each job application by emphasizing relevant skills and experiences.
  • Quantify Your Achievements. Use numbers to quantify your accomplishments whenever possible. For example, “increased sales by 20%,” “managed a team of 10,” or “completed 50 projects.”
  • Write a concise professional summary at the beginning of your resume, summarizing your key strengths and career goals.

Don’ts of Resume Writing

  • Do not use a generic resume template. Your resume should be unique and tailored to your individual qualifications.
  • Keep your resume concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details that can overwhelm the employer.
  • Remember that your resume may be reviewed by individuals outside your field, so avoid using excessive jargon and acronyms. Explain technical terms when necessary.
  • Do not write in the third person. Use the first person (“I”) when describing your work experience and accomplishments.

Common Mistakes to Avoid on Your Resume

In addition to the things you should never include on your resume, there are a number of common mistakes you should avoid. Here are a few tips:

  • Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes. To increase your chances of getting noticed, include industry-specific keywords that match the job description.
  • Avoid generic objectives like “seeking a challenging position.” Instead, create a specific professional summary highlighting what you can offer to the employer.
  • Tailoring your resume for each job application is essential. Customize it to match the skills and experiences the employer is looking for.
  • Don’t use too much jargon or technical language. Your resume should be written in plain English that anyone can understand.
  • Don’t forget to proofread your resume carefully. Even the smallest grammar or spelling error can make you look unprofessional.

In the competitive job market, it’s crucial for freshers and college students to create a standout resume. By avoiding the 10 things you should never include on your resume and following the dos and don’ts of resume writing, you can increase your chances of landing your dream job or internship.

Firstnaukri Resume Maker is a free online tool that can help you create a professional resume. The tool is easy to use, and it includes a variety of templates and features to help you create a resume that is tailored to your specific needs. Remember to tailor your resume for each application, focus on your achievements, and use industry-specific keywords.

Related Reads:

FAQs on What Not to Include on a Resume

What are 5 common mistakes on your resume you should avoid?

The top 5 common mistakes you should avoid on your fresher’s resume are:

  • Overloading the resumes with unnecessary info
  • Not tailoring the resume according to the job description
  • Not using a professional resume format for freshers
  • Neglecting the resume keywords
  • Not proofreading and ignoring spell-check

What is the most difficult part of making a resume?

The most difficult part of coming up with a resume is frequently creating the resume bullets. The most crucial duty is to adequately describe your experience; choosing the ideal style and structure and deciding which experiences to highlight in your resume might take some time.

Should I put my address on my resume?

No, your resume does not need to include your address. Most conversations in the modern workplace take place over the phone or over email. This renders the requirement for a complete address obsolete. On your resume, you should put a generic location instead.

What are the 4 C’s of resume writing?

The 4 C’s of resume writing are:

  • Creativity.
  • Communication.
  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration.

Why writing a professional resume is important for job search?

A resume is said to be your first point of contact with a recruiter and this mainly decides whether you will be shortlisted for the next round of selection process, i.e., personal interview or not. Therefore, there is no reason for which you can take the risk of committing any absurd resume writing mistake and ruining your chance of getting shortlisted.

What is the ideal font style for writing a resume?

The choice of font style and size plays a crucial role here. Some easy-to-read fonts are Arial, Calibri, and Times New Roman. Make your document look clean and leave white space between two paragraphs.

What is the common blunder jobseekers make when sending a resume to recruiters?

Avoiding proofreading increases your chances of committing common resume blunders such as typo errors and grammatical errors which are big turn-offs for employers.


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