Do a Google search of “what to put on your resume” and get ready to sift through approximately 417 million search results.
However, just as it is extremely important to know what type of information potential employers are most interested in receiving—such as your name and phone number, a professional e-mail address, social media links, all relevant work experience (with your roles and responsibilities in each position), and all of your tangible or measurable achievements—it’s equally as critical to realize what should never find its way onto this job seeking document.
But what type of information falls into this second category? Here are a few items to consider.
Yes, prospective employers will need your email address and phone number should they decide to advance you to the interview process. The information they don’t need includes your date of birth, Social Security Number, driver’s license number, or any other data that is extremely personal in nature. So, make sure you leave this type of information out.
If you’re ever in doubt, ask yourself whether the information provided on your resume can potentially be used to steal your identity. If it can, remove it. This is especially true if your resume is stored in an online database where anyone can download it, which is common on job search sites like Indeed or USAJOBS.
In most cases, your photo should not be included on your resume according to Experteer.com. In fact, employers typically don’t expect to ever see what you look like prior to an interview, nor can they ask for your picture or they risk being in violation of the nation’s labor and anti-discrimination laws.
That said, Experteer goes on to explain that employers in some countries do anticipate receiving a photo with your CV (which stands for Curriculum Vitae, a document that is much like a resume but tends to be more detailed in nature). So, if you’re applying for a position in China, Japan, and most European countries, for instance, including your photo is expected.
A low GPA
Including your grade point average (GPA) on your resume shows potential employers how well you did in your college-level courses. This can be helpful in cases where you recently graduated and don’t have a lot of work experience in your particular field.
Yet, The Balance Careers shares that if your GPA is a 3.0 or lower, then it might be better to leave it off. Additionally, if your major GPA is higher than your overall GPA, you may want to use that number instead.
You can also remove your GPA from your resume once you’ve been working in the field for a few years, according to The Balance, freeing up more space to share all that you’ve accomplished since graduating.
Work experience unrelated to a job
Some people view resumes as an opportunity to share every job they’ve ever had going back to their very first work experience. While it’s understandable to want to wow potential employers with your diverse work-related background, the reality is that they only care about the experience you have relative to the job you want.
Therefore, when writing up your resume, consider each job you have listed and whether your responsibilities and duties could potentially provide value for the position you desire. If it does, keep it on, but if it doesn’t, it should probably be removed.
A resume is a great place to list all of the skills you’ve accumulated during the course of obtaining your education or while working in your field. But it shouldn’t be a complete list of every skill you’ve ever developed because then it’s not only overwhelming, but it can also detract from the skills you have that are most relevant to the job.
Glassdoor further indicates that certain skills should always be left off a resume. Among them are languages you learned only in high school, computer skills most everyone has (like e-mail and Microsoft Word), social media not related to your job, soft skills, and any skills associated with out-of-date technology.
In the past, it wasn’t uncommon to put “References Available Upon Request” at the bottom of your resume. This told employers that if they wanted to speak to someone who knew firsthand what it was like to work with you, you were willing to supply that information. Not anymore.
According to Live Career, any reference to references (say that three times) should be eliminated. The only exception is if the job post specifically requests that references be included. In that case, you can either put this information at the end of your resume or add them on a separate document.
In the end, what you put—and don’t put—on your resume can be the difference between getting called for an interview and being passed up. That makes this information important to know, as well as to apply.