What not to have on a Resume or CV

What not to have on a Resume/CV?

Today’s topic is what not to have on a resume or CV. I’ve got to keep your brevity till breakfast tomorrow morning. There’s a whole long laundry list of stuff not to put on your resume or your CV, but I’ve slimmed it down somewhat to the most pertinent, the most important points that if you have them on your resume or your CV, it might count you out of a particular interview. Because the resume doesn’t get you a job; it gets you the interview.

There’s no such thing as a perfect resume CV, but you can get as close as you can because you want to get as close to as many interviews as you can.

The word objective or profile on a resume.

I haven’t written a resume, right? That writer, the word profile or objective, probably for 15 years on a resume. Yes, you have a profile on there, but you never call it the word profile, and you never call The Objective the objective. So leave those two words out. They’re going to date you instantly because First Impressions count instantly. They’re going to date you and put you probably in a lesser pile for the interview, whereas you could have been in the red-hot pile.

References available upon request.

I see so many resumes, sadly, today with that. It went out in about 2007-2008 on resumes and CVs across the world. It’s automatically assumed that when you get called for the interview and the further interviews, you will take those references with you. And me as a resume writer, every line counts. The real estate on a two to three-page resume is limited, and I want to sell my client to the maximum. So if you take up, if you put references available upon request, not only is it vastly outdated, it’s going to date you and send negative thoughts in the other direction to the hiring manager’s mind. But it takes three lines because you have a line above, you have the “references available upon request,” and then you have the line below. So I can sell my client, and three lines are very valuable to me as a resume writer.

So having the words objective, having the word profile, and having references available upon request, or any part of that would count you out or will limit your chances. So take those out because they instantly date you.

Personal details.

Now, when I first started writing resumes, we used to put more personal email or details on there. As a global guy, a global resume writer with clients in, I think, 31 different countries right now, personal details used to be very, very important in certain countries, especially in Southeast Asia and Asia generally. But now it’s not. And the fact that they used to have, when I first started writing resumes for India and Southeast Asia, they used to add the mother’s maiden name, the color of your hair, your height, your weight, all sorts of different things. Now, the personal details, all those personal details, we leave out of a CV. If the people at the other end want to see those personal details, then you put them in. But they are very outdated. So they have to come up to date with the current resume CV format. But anywhere in the world now, personal details are fading fast. There are, in Russia and maybe a few other of the ex-USSR States, sometimes they need to have your personal details and maybe your number, Eric, and other countries, so personal details, a picture. This is an interesting topic.

Pictures are fading out of resumes.

So there are still people in Europe, mainly in the Benelux countries who still want to see pictures and to a certain degree, certain parts of Switzerland. But generally now, pictures are fading out of resumes. They’re not scannable. They go through the ATS scanning machinery, and you’ve been watching me on Tuesdays at two or going to my YouTube video; you see that I put a lot about ATS resume, and I get one kick of the can, and you don’t want to send it out of the ATS because you don’t get a second chance. So having a picture on your resume, your CV, counts you out because it’s classed as a graphic, and there are very few people now who will need to see pictures on your resume, your CV, anywhere in the world, to a certain degree the Benelux region, but lesser and lesser and lesser.

Unprofessional email.

So don’t have a Hotmail on there. Try and avoid Yahoo and there are a few others. You know, when first emails came in, they were different than what they are right now. I would suggest you add your local internet provider, or you have a Gmail, which is a global account. So your internet provider or your local internet provider would be a good email, far more professional than a Hotmail, Yahoo, and there’s a few others that were around many, many years ago, and they’re now seen, the perception is they’re dated. And Hotmail is very unprofessional.

Don’t have a Gmail? Well, if you have your local ISP provider, but as I say, don’t have something like Hotmail or more charts and tables and whatever you put on your resume, you’re going to complicate that ATS scanning application, and you’re going to send it out of its normal processing. And when it’s processing you for as a viable candidate, so I would suggest no charts, no graphics.

Now, they do play a part if you’ve got, when you get called for the interview, you can have a resume, what I call the interview resume. So you take it with you and you give it to the person, either the individual interviewer. So try and steer clear of charts and graphics.

This one goes without saying, but I still see it very often, typos and grammar errors.

Keep them out of your resume. One mistake can reduce your chances of being called for an interview. So typos.

Salary history.

So many people, you’re pigeonholing yourself if you go for a salary. You’re putting yourself in salary right up front. So never put your salary history in your resume.

Make it easy for the executive recruiter or the hiring authority to give you a call.

But never have your business line, your business line unless it’s you, you own that particular company. But if you work for a corporation or an NGO or non-profit, it’s considered highly unprofessional to have your business telephone number and the same as your business email.

Make sure you emphasize your performance.

Yeah, built around the acronym called STAR. So situation, task, ponsibilities. I can just go on the internet, and I know what everybody, every function’s responsibilities generally is. But I’m interested in your performance, your standing out, your differentiator. That’s what a resume is. So you need to have a resume that makes you the standout to the reader, to the ATS, and to the reader at the other end, whoever that may be. All the best in your resume writing.


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