So much has been written about what you should include in your resume that it's easy to overlook the things you should not put in your resume. These can send your resume to the trash can just as fast as the things you omit.
Here are five things to never put in your resume.
Any statement about a “job objective” or “career objective”.
I know this is completely counterintuitive and contradicts much of what you've read about how to write a good resume, but hear me out. I've been a hiring manager for over 25 years at several Fortune 500 corporations and have interviewed and hired hundreds of people in my career.
My advice to you is don't bother putting an objective on your resume – it's meaningless to the hiring manager who will be reading your resume and simply takes up space without contributing anything. Instead, focus your efforts on customizing your resume for the specific job to which you're applying.
Read the job description in the job posting. Pay attention to the experience and qualifications they are seeking and highlight those things in your resume. What the hiring manager wants to read is how good a fit you will be for their job opening, not what your general “objective” is for a job. Including a job objective will not help and may very well hurt your resume. Your time is better spent tailoring your resume for each job.
The date you graduated from college.
By all means, include the fact that you did graduate, the school you attended, and any honors you received. But leave your graduation date off. If it's too far in the past, you may be stereotyped as being too old. If it's too recent, you may be stereotyped as being too young. Yes, questions about age can't be asked in an interview and age discrimination is illegal, but let's face it: if you give a big clue about your age in your resume you run the risk of being typecast.
It's better to sell your experience and accomplishments and take age out of the equation.
Personal information such as hobbies, how you like to spend you time, etc.
The hiring manager only wants to know about your education, experience and accomplishments as they relate to the job for which you're interviewing. Personal information adds nothing to your resume and you run the risk of stating something that the hiring manager doesn't like. For example, if you state that you're an avid hunter and the hiring manager is into animal rights, you are sunk before you even leave the dock.
Experience that isn't backed up with accomplishments.
Yes, the hiring manager wants to know you have the specific experience the job requires. But simply listing your experience without also giving example of accomplishments that show that the experience was successful puts you into the same league as all the other mediocre applicants.
It's one thing to say that you have five years of marketing experience. It's quite another thing to say you have five years experience at XYZ company and increased sales in your territory by thirty percent. Which statement do you think will lead to an interview?
Page three and any page after that.
Your resume should never be more than two pages. And it should only be two pages if you have more than ten years of experience at more than three employers. Then, it's okay to have a second page, but never more.
Actually, the hiring manager will almost always make a decision as to if your resume warrants an interview after the first page, usually after the first half of the first page. If you can't convince me you are the right person for the job in two pages or less, I won't be convinced by the third or fourth page and in fact will probably not read that far. I'll usually have dozens of resumes to read and long resumes are absolute deal killers.
Force yourself to make your resume no longer than two pages, preferably one. Your resume will be much more focused and powerful.