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WHAT NOT TO PUT IN YOUR RESUME

by Greg Fall

Unless you are looking to torpedo your own job search, when writing your resume, do not include …

Social security number
The day or month you were hired and/or left a position
Compensation
Pictures
Explanations of moving on from a position
Personal interests
Community involvement (a few exceptions here, but this has changed from years ago)
Personal characteristics – physical health, marital status, weight
Your references (not even “references available upon request,” which we used to include)
Excessive: shading, parenthesis, columns, boxes, bold, capital letters, or underlining

Are there exceptions to some of these? Of course. Consider that cultural differences may actually require you to include a few of these in your resume or CV if you are applying for a position in another country. But, largely, these items are off limits.

In addition, a Linkedin profile, personal web page, blog bio, or other representations of your professional self all have their own rules. Examples: 

      Do not just cut and paste your entire resume into Linkedin, but do make sure to cut and paste a few key parts, customizing afterwards.

     When writing a blog bio, try to include a picture of yourself smiling and not looking too goofy – when in doubt, err on the side of a more conservative, professional look.

     When writing a bio for a website or marketing material for a consulting gig, keep it to one page but feel comfortable in allowing yourself some latitude to express some of your philosophies and concepts, as long as they relate back to your value proposition.

Finally, whether you write your own materials or have a professional writer assisting you, please make sure to give your new documents a trial run with trusted colleagues who will give you honest feedback. As my grandmother used to say with a smile, “two heads are better than one, even if one is a cabbage head.” So, certainly, if you would like me to take a cursory glance and a make a few, general comments about your document, this “cabbage head” will try to squeeze in a few minutes to be of service.