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Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Don't Put It On Your Resume
Having been in the resume writing business for over twelve years, I am still surprised by some of the things I see on resumes that are submitted to us. You would think that I had seen it all by now. Some old ideas are hard to die, though, so I might as well outline some types of information that you shouldn’t put on your resume.

Your birth date. This tells the employer your age and it will automatically get your resume disqualified. Under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers cannot discriminate based on age, race, ethnicity, etc. etc. When you tell the employer your age by using your birth date, the employer cannot make an unbiased decision about your candidacy so they usually discard your resume to be on the safe side.

Your church affiliation. Many job seekers list their volunteer work at their church on their resume with the idea that the experience will help their candidacy. The problem is this information falls under Title IV as described above and will again give the employer pause in consideration of your candidacy. Unless you are a professional minister or pastor and you are seeking a similar position, do not mention your religious affiliations on your resume.

Reasons for leaving. Never put your reasons for leaving a job on your resume. Your reason for leaving does not support your candidacy for future employment. If an employer wants to know why you left, he/she can ask in the interview or request that you fill out a job application that requires that information. Many feel compelled to include their reasons for leaving if the reasons were a layoff or the company went out of business or some other reason that was not their fault. It doesn’t matter what the reason was – it doesn’t go on the resume.

Salary history. Your salary history does not appear on the resume. What you made in past jobs is not necessarily relevant to what you can make in your next job. Most people’s salaries tend to increase incrementally but not always. And if the salary hasn’t increased, it might be for very good reasons. If you list salaries on your resume, you are automatically shooting yourself in the foot in your salary negotiations. Prospective employers know exactly how much you “cost”. Sometimes it might be too much so you are eliminated from consideration. Sometimes it might be too little and you are eliminated because the employer thinks you are too lightweight.

Hobbies and interests. Hobbies and interests have nothing to do with your ability to do the job. Some hobbies might even serve to brand you as a nutcase. Some may cause concern to the employer. If you list a hobby that is time-consuming, requires extensive travel, or is physically dangerous, the employer might be concerned that your hobby would interfere with your work.

Your work email. Use your private email. A work email gives the impression that you conduct private business on company time.

None of these types of information should be included on your resume. The rule of thumb is to look at what you have chosen to include in your resume and ask “Will this result in an interview?” If not, leave it out. Resume space is too precious to include information that has no relevance on your job performance.

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 /


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