5 Things You Should Never Include On Your Resume
When was the last time you updated your resume? Besides adding an achievement, an award or a new role, can you recall when you actually gave it a full refresh?
We all know that in theory you’re meant to tailor your resume to each individual role you apply to, but in practice things can be a little more haphazard than that. But the fact is, the more senior you become within your industry the more essential it is for your resume to showcase your most recent skill sets, achievements and experiences.
If you can’t think when your last resume spring clean was, it could be time to go back to basics and attack it from scratch. Editing your experience to ensure your skills and value to a potential employer shines through can be less about what you include––and much more about what you leave out.
Here are five things to make sure you never include.
We all know your resume is your first chance to make an impression on the hiring manager––so one littered with mistakes does not give the sense of a conscious, detail-oriented professional.
Errors don’t have to be obvious such as spelling, grammar or formatting––they could be something as simple as getting the name of a qualification wrong, or using a company’s old name instead of its new title.
Essentially, details matter. A hiring manager will be tuned in to the industry, appropriate qualifications and software, so your resume should reflect these––especially if you’re applying for roles in different territories, where companies may be known by a different name.
2. Irrelevant information
It’s great that you won a coding competition in 2013, but a decade on you should have built on the win or gained more relevant experience that you can share. Think of your resume as prime real estate, so stick to the facts and the most pertinent information. Instead of including irrelevant facts about yourself, use the limited space to highlight your suitability for the role.
3. Identifiable Details
Is your date of birth, a recent picture or a postal address on your resume? Resume essentials 101, right? Well, no actually. By letting a recruiter know your age, your ethnicity or your address you may be subjecting yourself to unconscious biases, and be passed over for the role.
Yes, this is illegal and if proven with irrefutable evidence, you would have a case for legal recourse, but most of the time candidates have no idea. It’s advisable to omit identifiable details and let your skills and experience speak for themselves.
4. Irrelevant Work Experience
The best resumes are clear, concise and showcase your experience and achievements that are relevant to the role in question. But this is easier said than done when you have 15-plus years’ experience to highlight. So think like a hiring manager and ask yourself what is most relevant to share regarding the position for which you’re applying. Cut back on earlier experience if less relevant, and create more space for your best professional achievements to sing.
5. Elaborate Formatting
Design apps have made everyone a graphic designer, and made it easier than ever before to jazz up a resume, a social media post or a presentation deck. Unfortunately, the majority of software used by recruiters scans resumes in a way that means elaborate formatting isn’t always recognised.
The software is scanning for keywords, skills and qualifications––all things you may have, but if you formatted your resume for style over substance, you may now be overlooked for the role as the software simply can’t read it. The solution is to keep it simple. Remember, you can always use your cover letter and interview to elaborate on older experiences or your more colorful professional achievements.
Inspired to hit the job market? Then your first stop needs to be the Tech HQ Job Board. If you’re trying to make a career move within the tech industry, it is full of industry-leading companies recruiting for roles at all levels. We’ve selected three of the most exciting below.
Staff Engineer, Foursquare, Chicago
Foursquare is looking for a Staff Engineer to join its team, and work on end-to-end data pipelines. You’ll be expected to contribute in all stages of design, implementation, orchestration, and deployment pipelines and tools that handle vast amounts of data in a distributed environment. You’ll also build, deploy, and orchestrate big data processing pipelines that directly enhance products and client deliveries. To be considered, you’ll need a B.Sc. in a technical field such as computer science, seven or more years’ of experience in software engineering working with production-level code and proficiency with at least one object oriented programming language (preferred Scala, Java, Python). Get the full details on the Staff Engineer job, or check out more opportunities at Foursquare.
Head of Data Science, Duolingo, Pittsburgh
As Head of Data Science with Duolingo you will lead the company’s elite team of data scientists, advancing the company’s data science capabilities and impact; integrating innovative solutions, providing thought leadership to drive business value, and cultivating close partnerships with a broad range of leaders across the company. To be considered you’ll have a PhD in a quantitative field, five or more years’ of experience leading and growing teams and people, and the ability to establish and advance how data-science informs product strategy. Apply for the Head of Data Science job now, or explore other opportunities at Duolingo.
Sr Desktop Support Engineer, EA, Los Angeles
As Sr. Desktop Support Engineer at Electronic Arts you’ll help to power the future of play with the teams developing Apex Legends, Medal of Honor, Star Wars Jedi Fallen order and more. You will collaborate with the desktop support engineering team, be involved in incident management, and deliver world-class customer service. You’ll need a Bachelor’s degree or professional training/certifications related to areas of responsibilities, or equivalent work experience, as well as five or more years of experience in all aspects of a gaming studio site IT, and two or more years of experience in an IT senior/leadership role. See all the requirements for the Sr. Desktop Support Engineer job, or discover more jobs at Electronic Arts.