If you are an existing client of ours or if you are familiar with our blog articles, you know that we talk A LOT about what not to do on a resume or cover letter. Well, this article is all about things you should never write on a resume (or say in an interview).
1. Don’t say you’re “proficient in MS Office”
Unless absolutely relevant for the role, do not say you are “proficient in MS Office, Word, Excel…”. Instead, mentioned specific software or apps that are unique to your job fields, such as QuickBooks for accountants, or Photoshop for designers, or SQL for data analysts.
2. Stick to professional accomplishments
Don’t include personal accomplishments such as “I paid off my student loans this year.” Yes paying off your student loans is a BIG accomplishment, but it does not covey a general strength to the hiring manager.
3. Leave out the Career Objective
Don’t include a career objective statement at the beginning of your resume. Similar to the last point, it does not convey any specific strength or talent to the hiring manager.
4. Don’t disclose why you left previous roles
Don’t say the reason why you left your previous role(s). Save that for the interview, if it comes up.
5. Save salary negotiations for later
Don’t write about how much your salary was or what your salary expectations are. This will come up during the screening phone call or the interview.
6. No one (really) cares about your GPA
Don’t include your GPA or a list of specific courses you’ve completed in college. Do include certification and professional designations if they are relevant to the role
7. Don’t name names!
Don’t include the name of your previous manager or boss. Or the names of people that reported to you.
8. No jargon or cliche phrases
Don’t use jargon or cliché phrases such as “proven track record…” Instead, break it down and explain your specific accomplishments.
9. Don’t say “references available upon request”
Don’t say ”references available on request”. Trust us, they will ask for references, and you will make them available when the time is right.
10. Leave out the mailing address
Don’t include mailing addresses for yourself or companies on your resume. State (Province) or City is great.
11. DO talk about your volunteer work
Don’t leave out volunteer work, especially if you have a short employment history or if it is relevant to the industry. But keep it to one or two bullet points maximum.
12. Don’t make it personal
Don’t mention personal information such as marital status, kids, religious affiliations, political party, or anything else that would be considered personal and non-work related.
13. Do not lie. Just don’t
Don’t falsify previous achievements or affiliations. The recruitment world is VERY small, and any false information will catch up with you.
14. Don’t mention the everyday things
Don’t include event-specific achievements. For example, “attended the XYZ tradeshow” or “hosted the New York chapter of XYZ club.”
15. Leave out the top-secret info
Don’t include proprietary or confidential information about your previous companies. For example, things related to company-wide layoffs or failed projects.