The 5 Worst Things to Include on Your Resume

Job Country 19 Jan, 2018

Do a quick search for "resume advice" and you'll find an almost unlimited number of tips and suggestions about how to polish up that resume and make yourself stand out to potential employers. While there's plenty of advice floating around about what to include on your resume, what about the things you shouldn't include?

In a recent study, executives were asked where job seekers make the most mistakes; the number two answer (second only to the interview process) was, you guessed it, resumes. Given that recruiters spend a whopping 5 to 10 seconds on their initial look at a resume, getting your resume just right is essential. Here are 5 things you should never put on your resume.

An Objective

Though starting a resume with an objective is a time-honored tradition, it's just that: A tradition. Today's recruiters are more likely to skip over it in search of actual skills, or -- even worse -- pass you over if your objective isn't a good match. Instead, show your worth through your skills and qualifications.

Controversial Data

Though of course your political leanings, religious beliefs and sexual orientation are an important part of your identity, potential employers don't need to know about them. In fact, it's against the law for them to ask about these issues, so leave them off your resume altogether and focus on why you're a great fit for the job.

Colors, Pictures and Fancy Fonts

Yes, your resume will look cute if you use Comic Sans font in hot pink with a picture of you and your cats at the top. But all these added touches do is distract from the valuable content; in fact, studies show that recruiters spend 19% of those 5 to 10 seconds looking at the picture, instead of reading about your qualifications. Every second counts -- don't waste them on aesthetics.


A few words are so cliched and overused on resumes that they'll make a recruiter's eyes glaze. Are there really any job applicants who couldn't describe themselves using generic, vague terms like:

Hard worker
Team player
People person

Instead, show your worth through accurate descriptions of what you accomplished in your last position, such as "I managed 30 accounts with a net work of $1 million..." or "I brought in 15 new accounts worth..." You get the picture.

Salary Expectations

Unless a potential employer is specifically asking for your salary range, leave it out. If it's too high or too low, you'll knock yourself out of the running before you even get started.

Keeping your resume succinct, focused on specific details, and cleanly formatted will catch a recruiter's attention.