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San Antonio, TX

Advanced knowledge of programming language(s), software development tools and environment(s) and systems analysis and functional design

12 Days of Kforce: 7 Things to Leave Off Your Resume

December 18, 2012
12 Days of Kforce: 7 Things to Leave Off Your Resume

On the seventh 'Day of Kforce',

From our staffing company,

Seven Things to Leave Off Your Resume.


No job search is complete without the proper resume, but with so many templates and format options, writing an effective resume can be confusing. Kforce recruiter, Rebekah Borio, says knowing what to include on your resume begins with knowing what to exclude from your resume. Here are seven things that are better left on the cutting room floor.


1. Fancy design/font/layout


Unless you are applying for a job in graphic design/art, there is no reason to have an ornate resume. Flamboyant resumes may create the illusion that you are overcompensating for a lack of required experience or that you simply do not understand what the employer is looking for. Additionally, certain formats and fonts become jumbled and illegible when opened in different software versions. Keep your format simple to help rule out any chance of confusion.


2. Short term jobs


The only short term jobs (less than 6 months) that should be included on a resume should be related to the job you’re applying for or are consulting/contract assignments which have proper business reasons for ending. All other short term jobs may cause employers to question your work ethic, accountability, technical experience or interpersonal skills.


3. Unrelated experience


Employers only take a few moments to review resumes and identify key words. Accordingly, resumes should be concise and accurately reflect how your current or previous experience aligns with the responsibilities of the job you are applying for. Include relative experience first on your resume, highlighting results rather than simply listing tasks. Unrelated experience not only wastes valuable space, but can harm your chances of obtaining an interview, especially if it is the first thing that an employer notices. 


4. Any mention of high school


Whether or not to include high school under your educational qualifications is circumstantial. While you may want to list clubs, honors and awards, these tend to lose value as time goes on. If you have an education that supersedes a high school diploma then there is no reason to mention high school on your resume. Additionally, if you have been out of high school for more than two years and have relative experience, there is no reason to mention it either. Experience will usually surpass a high school diploma. However, if the job description is adamant about having a high school diploma and you do not have a higher degree it will not hurt to include.    


5. Salary requirements/requests


The conversation of salary doesn’t always come up during an initial interview; therefore the place to list your requests is certainly not your resume. Including salary requirements not only limits the number of opportunities that employers may feel you are a match for, but it could certainly hurt your negotiating powers later in the process. Salary should never be focused as a main priority on your resume, this is your opportunity to explain what you can do for a company, not what a company can do for you. Whether you’re writing your resume or are in a job interview, refrain from any mention of money unless asked about it first.


6. Subjective sentences


Non-technical traits like communication and leadership skills have become over-exaggerated on resumes and difficult to measure. Resumes should highlight your achievements and experience with specific, quantitative results as it relates to the job you are applying for. Your non-technical strengths can be assessed in the cover letter or interview stage.


7. “References available upon request”


Including references on your resume or the statement “references available upon request” takes up valuable space where you could include additional technical strengths and experience that make you a stronger match for the job you are applying for. Hiring managers and recruiters expect to be able to request references from all job applicants. If you are expected to present references, this should be communicated to you.  


The amount of room on your resume is limited, so make sure you are taking advantage of the valuable space you have. Omit information that may be distracting to your audience and make sure to include that which focuses on the contributions you can make to their company.


Stay tuned for Day 8!


Previous Articles:

SIX Job Search Steps for New Grads

FIVE Ways to Work with your Recruiter

FOUR Must-Join LinkedIn Groups

THREE Cover Letter Clues

TWO Interview Follow-up Tips

The ONE Thing Employers Want to See

About the author

KforceKforce is a professional staffing and solutions firm providing flexible and permanent placement services, as well as outsourcing solutions, in the skill areas of technology, finance & accounting, healthcare and government. Kforce operates in more than 60 offices throughout the United States and one in the Philippines.

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Kforce is a professional staffing and solutions firm providing flexible and permanent placement solutions in the skill areas of technology, finance & accounting and healthcare. Kforce operates in more than 60 offices located throughout the United States and one office in the Philippines.
About this blog
Knowledge Employed is a career advice blog and job tips resource center, created and managed by Kforce’s staffing specialists. Whether you are a professional needing career advice or a hiring authority seeking business guidance, our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and tools.