In preparing, editing, and targeting your resume to specific companies and jobs, there are several things NOT to do.

Here are 10 tips from Dawn Dugan, writing for

  1. Do not include an unrealistic objective: “Outlandish, overconfident, or ‘out there’ objective statements almost always ensure that the rest of your resume isn’t read.”
  2. Do not highlight irrelevant work experience.
  3. Do not include achievements that are not really achievements: “Stick to professional and community service awards only.”
  4. Do include physical characteristics: “Hiring managers don’t care, so please don’t describe yourself that way.”
  5. Do not include unusual hobbies: “It’s fine to include a hobby or interest or two, as long as they aren’t the type to raise eyebrows.”
  6. Do not include private information: “Sexual orientation, religious and political affiliations, marital status, age, and whether you have children should not be included on your resume.”
  7. Do not use bad grammar and obscure words: “No one needs to know you are endowed with ‘sophrosyne,’ when ‘good sense’ will do.”
  8. Do not offer unprofessional contact data: “If your email address is, don’t include it on your resume.”
  9. Do not provide your social security number or other sensitive information. Resumes are frequently passed along in an unsecured manner.
  10. Do not be too fancy with fonts, colors, and design elements. This can distract from your qualifications.

Click the image to learn more from Dugan.


Post suggested by KCJ

18 Replies to “Resume Tips: Don’t Do This”

  1. I feel like overall this a very accurate guideline as to what you should avoid when constructing a resume. It is important to remain as professional as possible while setting yourself apart from other prospective employees. Sometimes people overlook common mistakes that could be the difference between a good resume and a bad one.

  2. I think these are all good tips to keep in mind for your resume or any future interview. It’s important to keep your resume simple, and let your previous work and accomplishments speak for themselves, and let them be the endorsement that leads to your hiring.

  3. I once heard that your resume should be a paper manifestation of who you are, and what you would offer as an employee if a job is offered to you. It’s highly important to be as professional on paper as you would appear to be in person, which means, as Josh said, to let your work accomplishments speak for themselves. The simpler, the better.

  4. Keeping your resume short, sweet and to the point is critical to ensure that it is not immediately disregarded. The tips listed above are excellent guidelines to build a resume that fits this criteria. Especially in an economy as poor as today’s, differentiating yourself from the competition (in a positive manor) is more important than ever to land a job.

  5. Great tips and to the point. I have had some recruiters tell me to tweak my resume depending on the job I am applying to. They feel its best to highlight certain skills over others, even if they may seem trivial to you, to become a more attractive fit for the position. The only time I have seen more unique resumes are in the graphic design and other design fields. They tend to not be as traditional.

    1. Everyone: Remember that (1) the purpose of a resume is to get an interview NOT to tell the potential employer so much that an interview is unnecessary. (2) you should tailor your resume for EVERY job to which you are applying. (3) you should Include buzz words on your resume that you draw directly from the job description. πŸ™‚

  6. These are great tips to keep in mind for the next time I send my resume out. These tips help to remind us to keep certain things off of our resumes, and to let our past accomplishments enhance our resumes, instead of something that is irrelevant. Overall these tips are similar to that which I have seen before when building a resume.

  7. These are great tips of what not to do while building a resume. They remind us that it’s best to keep it simple while listing accurate information that will make you more appealing to the employer. You should want a resume to show that you are the best candidate for the position.

  8. Without a doubt, this helpful tips are 100% accurate and true. A resume is a brief representation of you. This would mean that you would want to represent yourself in the best way possible. When you see a resume with spelling errors and questionable parts, you automatically get a bad impression of that person. One of the biggest things I notice when looking over a resume is e-mail addresses. I’m not sure why people don’t have enough sense to create an appropriate e-mail address when applying for a position. Having an e-mail such as xxxItalianStallionxxx, is not a good look for anyone to have. As well, people should probably learn how to create a great resume before submitting it to a potential employer.

  9. These are all really helpful tips on creating and accurate and easy resume to read. I have been putting a resume together for summer internships, so after reading this post I actually went back re read and fixed some things on it.

  10. These tips are very helpful when creating a Resume. You have to remember that the companies have a whole bunch of resumes to read and there has to be something special about yourself that catches their attention. This does not mean to over-exaggerate your achievements, or create a false persona. All it means is to concisely provide the company with your main accomplishments and the extra-curricular activities that you have been a part of that will enhance your working experience. Companies want the real, exciting, “you.”

  11. This article gives great pointers on what to do and what not to do on your resume. I feel that it is important to note certain things on your resume to help you stand out. Those activities, hobbies, jobs, etc. should speak for themselves. There should be no reason to add irrelevant information that would just distract the employer from your personal ‘ad’. I feel that keeping a resume clean, simple, organized, and accurate will help.

  12. These tips are really helpful because everyone always tells us what to do, but never what not to do on our resumes. Building a strong resume is necessary in any field of work. The first resume that you send to a company should be one page so they can quickly see if you are qualified for the job or not. Having a well worded, neat, short and to the point resume is a huge factor in getting the interview, and then, hopefully, the job.

  13. I found this article to be very helpful. This article came in handy because over the weekend i decided to rework my resume. instead of showing me what to do in my resume, this article taught me what not to do. It really helped a lot when it said to keep your resume short, and to the point, this way an employer can easily see if your qualified for the job. This forced me to shorten and simplify my resume. I previously thought that the longer, more activities, and more you had, the better it was. This article proved me to be wrong!

  14. It is really helpful to have a list of things not to do when I go to build my resume. I feel like I have gotten so many tips on what I should include, but have yet to be told what could really turn an employer off. This post offers a concise way to make your resume a good representation of yourself.

  15. I think writing a resume is one of the most difficult things for a student to do. Personally, I have not had much work experience so it makes it feel like my resume is lacking. These tips are really helpful though and make the task seem a little less daunting. Your resume is a representation of yourself and you have a page to prove to these people why you’re qualified for the position. Knowing what not to do is just as helpful as knowing what to do.

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