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What Not to Include on a Resume – Tips from DT Experts Shared in Fast Company and Business Insider

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A recent Glassdoor article including advice from three Decision Toolbox team members on what not to include in a resume was also picked up by Fast Company and Business Insider.

Excerpts from the article:

We have all heard the saying, “You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This is perhaps most true when it comes to a job resume. While many companies use screening software to initially evaluate a candidate’s resume, recruiters are largely the first people you must impress.

“Ambicious”

“Misspelled words [like this one] should never appear on your resume,” says Elizabeth Harrison, Client Services Manager and Senior Recruitment Partner at Decision Toolbox. “Read your resume numerous times, print it and take a pen to it and have someone else read it. One misspelled word can completely eliminate an otherwise strong candidate from consideration because it demonstrates lack of attention to detail.”

Rockstar

“It’s been overused in the last five years,” insists Jennifer Bensusen, Technology Lead and Senior Recruitment Partner at national recruiting firm Decision Toolbox. “Unless you are truly a singing superstar, applying for a wedding singer or entertainer role that is!”

Dabbled

Bensusen says do not use “technology or systems you have touched or were exposed to but really don’t know.” For example, stay away from sentences like, “… a Software Engineer who dabbled with Python in college seven years ago but has been developing in .NET professionally since.” In this case, don’t add Python to your resume if you’re not a pro.

On Time

Again, a candidate being on time is an expectation. “[Instead] craft a well thought out, concise resume with interesting content on accomplishments, KPI success or significant highlights with bullets on what you did,” advises Bensusen. “Did you create efficiencies that saved the company big bucks? Did you hire a stellar team that accomplished world peace?”

Expert

“Stay away from the word expert, unless you truly are,” says Bensusen. Otherwise, “be prepared to be peppered with questions regarding your expertise.”

Can’t or Won’t

Negative words should not be included in a resume. “Resumes should demonstrate what you can do and not what you can not do,” says Harrison.

Unnecessary personal information

Harrison advises that your “date of birth, family status, personal interests etc. should be avoided on a resume. These items do not pertain to the qualifications of an individual for a position.”

Hobbies

“Content that does not relate to the job and does not address what qualifications a candidate has for a job can absolutely eliminate a candidate who may have accomplished many of the tasks that job is looking for, but was not articulated in the resume,” adds Harrison.

Generalizations

“Substantiate your accomplishments with numbers,” says Nicole Cox, Chief Recruitment Officer at Decision Toolbox. Some recruiters prefer to see actual numbers (such as “cut manufacturing costs by $500,000”), while others prefer percentages (“cut manufacturing costs by 15 percent”). Either way, provide enough context to show the impact. If your objective was to cut manufacturing costs by 10 percent, make it clear that you exceeded the goal.

Stay-at-home Mom

Like personal information, do not feel obligated to explain gaps in your resume. “Personal information about age, relationships or children can expose you to discrimination,” warns Cox. “Employers aren’t allowed to ask for that kind of information, and you shouldn’t offer.” However, if you’d like to address a gap because you are re-entering the workforce, Cox says, “You can be creative, such as putting Domestic CEO as the title and listing ‘Successfully managed procurement, budgets and scheduling.’”

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