Resume Exclusions: What Not to List on Your Resume


The task of resume preparation

Anyone who has ever written a resume will probably agree that composing and structuring one of these documents is a very difficult task, a task which you will have to undertake in the preparation of your own resume; because it takes time and patience to fit your entire professional history within one or two pages, in a way that presents you as the best candidate for the job. While we focus so much of our energy on what must be included in our resumes, we often forget to stop and think about the information that should never be included.

With that in mind, there are at least five pieces of information you should exclude from your resume, and they are listed in the following paragraphs as an informal guide you can refer to when composing your own resume:

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The first two exclusions

1. Do not get personal – Any information that discloses demographics should not be listed in your resume. Items such as your age, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, marital status, physical appearance, or your personal philosophies that are not critical to your job performance must be excluded, as these pieces of information could become detrimental, and be used against you – or be mis-used in the hands of an ethically challenged individual. So such information should never be listed on your resume.

Presenting yourself as a professional to your potential employers is the goal, and as such, the method (resume document) in which you use for your presentation should not be a list of your hobbies or interests. On the other hand, it must be a well formatted listing of your education, qualifications and employment history; so stick to the information that is relevant to the job, as well as to your career objective.

2. Do not list historical salary information on your resume – This is a strict rule and you should follow it as closely as you possible can, since your employer is more concerned with what your desired salary is, than of what you earned in your first job out of college. If you are asked to provide historical salary information do so in your cover letter, not your resume. As a best practice, always list the minimum of what you are willing to accept for the job, and avoid using a salary range.

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Having said that, it is important that you do your research so that you will have a good workable knowledge and understanding of what an acceptable salary is for the job in which you are interested. Whenever possible, leave all salary conversations for the interview with your potential employer.

Other Omissions: jargon and personal webite

3. Do not use jargon or too many “big words” – Unless you are absolutely certain that the person reading your resume will understand the terminology you are using, avoid using jargon in your resume. Pattern your resume as if it was being directed toward recruiters, rather than to an immediate hiring manager, because the human resources associates are usually first to scan your resume. While it is important to showcase your knowledge of a particular field through your education and experience, it is ill-advised to use jargon since it has no place on your well-written resume.

In addition, avoid using too many “big words” since you don’t want to give the impression that you’re hiding behind your vocabulary; and keep in mind that making your resume overbearing is the fastest way to ensure losing the interest of your employer. Just use the action words that are relevant to your career level.

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4. Do not list your personal web site – As a rule, you should not include your personal web site if it contains your photo or other photos that may be viewed as inappropriate, especially if it contains jokes (even if they are clean jokes), or your personal blog. In other words, if the site you have is entirely for personal purposes, you are best advised to leave it off your resume. Only include a link to your web site if the pages are set up in a way that showcases your professional portfolio, a copy of your resume, reference letters, presentations, photos taken for professional use, or your web development skills.


Critical little nuisances must be removed

5. Do not allow typos or other errors to remain – The most important factor in achieving a winning resume is proof reading. Understanding that you want to put your best foot forward, errors on your resume will defeat the purpose; so if your resume contains grammatical and spelling errors, your potential employer will get an impression that you are not detail-oriented. S/he may also come to the conclusion that you are somewhat sloppy, and as such, will do sloppy work if you are hired.

As basic a task as proof reading is, there is no other way to say that it is also very difficult to proof read a document you have been working on so closely, so it may be a good idea to– use spell check – although this tool does not catch grammaticl errors. So ask your friends and family members for help, or meet with a career counselor; Dbut do your best to present the most polished and well-written resume you possibly can to your potential employers.


To List Foreign Education & Job Experience on a Resume


The value of education and diversity

In American society we pride ourselves on the diversity of our citizens and residents, while making conscious efforts to appreciate the cultures and backgrounds of each other. In any given company located here, you can find training teams conducting inclusion classes, and openly discussing diverse work environments. Diversity, in other words, has become a part of our culture both in and outside the work space, and it is something that we seldom stop to appreciate.

A sizeable portion of the American workforce has acquired at least part of their education in a foreign country; and if you are in that group, one of the main challenges you will face when composing your resume, is transferring your education and any experience you may have from another country in a way that smartly conveys to a potential American employer, your qualifications and achievements as they relate to your career objective.

When it comes to your scholastic achievements, make sure that you understand the educational system in the United States, and familiarize yourself with the various levels of college degrees. But make sure you understand the difference between trade schools, colleges and universities, as well as the various degrees you can obtain at each of these educational facilities. You don’t have to translate your degree directly, but make sure the terminology you are using is appropriated to educational achievements in the US.

Foreign skills aligned with job duties

Should it become necessary you may have to seek assistance from a translating service, or from a resume writing service that might have a staff member who speaks your language, or is familiar with your country and its culture. This will ensure that the education and employment information you acquired in another country is properly listed on your resume; do not make a mistake however, of exaggerating the position you held, or the degree you received in that other country.

Consider the fact that your potential employer has very limited resources, and verifying the foreign education or employment you list on your resume may be less a priority to that employer, when compared to hiring another applicant for the position. This doesn’t mean you have a free pass to make things up; you should instead gather any documentation you may have that shows your achievements.

If you have any transcripts or degrees from your school, or any awards from your previous employment, take them to a translating service that will recreate and notarize these documents in English; and make a note on your resume or in your cover letter that you can show such documentation upon employer’s request.

Full disclosure can be advantageous

Additionally, if English is your second language make sure to list, under your Qualifications, any additional languages you speak fluently. And always be mindful that a resume free of typos and grammatical errors will indicate to a potential employer that you have taken the time to learn the language, and that you place high emphasis on your communication skills.

As a best practice, if your resume includes education or work experience you acquired in a foreign country, your cover letter should address any concerns that may be brought up as a result of conveying this information. Your employer may have questions about why you left the country where you previously work, or if you intend to go back after some time (if you came to the United States to further your education, indicate the length of time you are staying).

Keep these things in mind –and put yourself in a position of a potential employer who is reviewing your resume and anticipate any questions they may have about your professional history. Addressing any concerns about your resume ahead of time will assure that you are taken seriously as a qualified and credible candidate who happen to have had training and job-related experience abroad.