Your current business-contact info: Amdur writes at NorthJersey.com: “This is not only dangerous; it’s stupid. Do you really want employers calling you at work? How are you going to handle that? Oh, and by the way, your current employer can monitor your emails and phone calls. So if you’re not in the mood to get fired or potentially charged with theft of services (really), then leave the business info off.”
Headers, footers, tables, images, charts: These fancy embedding’s will have hiring managers thinking, “Could you not?” While a well-formatted header and footer may look professional, and some cool tables, images, or charts may boost your credibility, they also confuse the applicant-tracking systems that companies use nowadays. The system will react by scrambling up your résumé and spitting out a poorly formatted one that may no longer include your header or charts. Even if you were an ideal candidate for the position, now the hiring manager has no way to contact you for an interview.
Your boss’ name: Don’t include your boss’ name on your résumé unless you’re OK with your potential employer contacting him or her. Even then, Gelbard says the only reason your boss’ name should be on your résumé is if the person is someone noteworthy, and if it would be really impressive.
Company-specific jargon: “Companies often have their own internal names for things like customized software, technologies, and processes that are only known within that organization and not by those who work outside of it,” Gelbard says. “Be sure to exclude terms on your résumé that are known only to one specific organization.”
Social-media URLs that are not related to the targeted position: Links to your opinionated blogs, Pinterest page, or Instagram account have no business taking up prime résumé real estate. “Candidates who tend to think their personal social media sites are valuable are putting themselves at risk of landing in the ‘no’ pile,” Nicolai says. “But you should list relevant URLs, such as your LinkedIn page or any others that are professional and directly related to the position you are trying to acquire,” she says.
More than 15 years of experience: When you start including jobs from before 2000, you start to lose the hiring manager’s interest. Your most relevant experience should be from the past 15 years, so hiring managers only need to see that, On the same note, never include dates on education and certifications that are older than 15 years.
Salary information: “Some people include past hourly rates for jobs they held in college,” Nicolai says. This information is unnecessary and may send the wrong message. Amy Hoover, president of Talent Zoo says you also shouldn’t address your desired salary in a CV. “This document is intended to showcase your professional experience and skills. Salary comes later in the interview process.”
Outdated fonts: “Don’t use Times New Roman and serif fonts, as they’re outdated and old-fashioned,” Hoover says. “Use a standard, sans-serif font like Arial.” Also, be aware of the font size, she says. Your goal should be to make it look nice and sleek — but also easy to read.
Fancy fonts: Curly-tailed fonts are also a turn-off, according to O’Donnell. “People try to make their résumé look classier with a fancy font, but studies show they are harder to read and the recruiter absorbs less about you.”
Annoying buzzwords: CareerBuilder asked US hiring managers: “What CV terms are the biggest turnoffs?” They cited words and phrases such as, “best of breed,” “go-getter,” “think outside the box,” “synergy,” and “people pleaser.” Terms employers do like to see on résumés include: “achieved,” “managed,” “resolved,” and “launched” — but only if they’re used in moderation.
Reasons you left a company or position: Candidates often think, “If I explain why I left the position on my résumé, maybe my chances will improve.” “Wrong,” Nicolai says. “Listing why you left is irrelevant on your résumé. It’s not the time or place to bring up transitions from one company to the next.” Use your interview to address this.
Your GPA: Once you’re out of school, your grades aren’t so relevant. If you’re a new college graduate and your GPA was a 3.8 or higher — it’s OK to leave it. But, if you’re more than three years out of school, or if your GPA was lower than a 3.8, ditch it.
A photo of yourself: This may become the norm at some point in the future, but it’s just weird — and tacky and distracting — to include a photo with your résumé for now.
An explanation of why you want the job: That’s what the cover letter and interviews are for!. Your résumé is not the place to start explaining why you’d be a great fit or why you want the job. Your skills and qualifications should be able to do that for you — and if they don’t, then your résumé is either in bad shape, or this isn’t the right job for you.
Opinions, not facts: Don’t try to sell yourself by using all sorts of subjective words to describe yourself, O’Donnell says. “I’m an excellent communicator” or “highly organized and motivated” are opinions of yourself and not necessarily the truth. “Recruiters want facts only. They’ll decide if you are those things after they meet you,” she says.
Generic explanations of accomplishments: Don’t just say you accomplished X, Y, or Z — show it by quantifying the facts. For instance, instead of, “Grew revenues” try, “X project resulted in a Y% increase in revenues.”
Short-term employment: Avoid including a job on your résumé if you only held the position for a short period of time, Gelbard says. You should especially avoid including jobs you were let go from or didn’t like.