Remove These Distracting (and Potentially Harmful) Things From Your Resume

While it is true that your resume should highlight your accomplishments and experience relevant to the job you are applying for, recruiters typically spend an average of about 7 seconds reviewing your resume . At this point in the application process, they are looking for a reason to reject candidates, so you don’t want to waste a precious second of their time on unnecessary information. Here’s everything that recruiters say you don’t need to include on your resume.

Your mailing address

An employer really needs your email address and phone number to contact you (and possibly a LinkedIn URL if it’s not part of their online application process). If not, your mailing address is information that only the employer’s HR department may need and may be provided later.

Photo or shot to the head

Unless you’re an actor or a model, your physical appearance almost certainly has nothing to do with your ability to get the job done. Including a photo on your resume only encourages discriminatory hiring practices and is probably for this reason annoying for some recruiters. Do not worry.

Employment history too long

If the job is not work-related, you probably won’t need 15-20 years of seniority on your resume. As Indeed suggests , you can always summarize your experience in a separate, shorter Earlier Employment section on your resume. For example, I group my previous journalistic experience as a “freelance writer” entry that briefly lists the places I have worked in (if I were applying for a job outside of journalism, I would not include it at all).

Irrelevant experience

Recruiters only need experience in job posting. Ideally, you don’t want long, unexplained gaps in your work history, but you also don’t want to dwell on irrelevant work experiences. For a less relevant work experience, keep it short and try to highlight the skills that best suit the position you are applying for.

Employer Description

The point of a resume is to talk about your experience, not just your previous employers. Even if your employer is a little-known company, don’t write a summary of what they do or where they are. Instead, include the relevant details on the list describing your role in the company.

Too many details about your education

If the position does not require special training, relevant experience will be much more important for the recruiter than education. If you went to college that’s great, but try to be short: you only really need to list schools, degrees, and your GPA if you want, although this is less relevant as you gain experience . (In other words, it would be weird if a seasoned middle-aged CFO still bragged about the good grades they got when they were 22 years old.) Plus, if you’re an older candidate who worries about age discrimination, you also don’t you must indicate the year in which you graduated.


Unless a job posting does not require specific links, do not include your referral contact information on your resume. And don’t worry about the “referrals on request” line — if an employer needs referrals, they’ll ask you later in the hiring process.

Hobbies or interests

Aside from work-related volunteer work, the sad truth is that at this stage, the employer doesn’t care about your hobbies or interests.


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