What Not to Put on a Resume

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What Not to Put on a Resume
A single line of text can ruin your chances of scoring your dream job. Here's what NOT to put on your resume and get an interview callback!
Sep 8, 2022 5 min read

When writing your resume, you have a very limited amount of space to work with. That’s why every little piece of your resume matters. It is extremely important to know what to put on your resume.

But it is even more essential to know what not to include on your resume. A hiring manager would spend approximately six seconds looking over your documents.

And since they have a pile of resumes, they would do anything to shrink that pile to a manageable group of candidates they can interview. That means that even one little unnecessary detail can cost you the job.

And that's why it is so critical to know what not to put on your resume. But don’t worry, in this article we are going to show you everything you need to avoid on your resume.

If you still have any doubts about what to put on your resume, check out How to Make Your Resume Stand Out. But if you are ready to learn what not to include, stick around.

The things not to put on your resume.

There are quite a few things you need to avoid on your resume. But that’s what we are here for. We are going to go through them one by one.

A solid wall of text without any bullets.

As we mentioned earlier, your resume has a very limited amount of space you can use. But that does not mean that you should clutter the whole page with information. You need to keep your resume organized and well-structured.

The best way to do so is by using bullet lists. By using bullet lists, you can easily draw the hiring manager’s attention to everything they need to know.

That can include your work experience, skills, and any certifications that are important to your potential employer.

Spelling and grammatical errors.

Of all the things you shouldn’t have on your resume, grammatical and spelling mistakes are probably in the top three. They may have occurred accidentally, or while tailoring your resume for different job positions.

No matter what’s the case, that’s something you want to avoid at all costs. Proofreading is the most critical step of your resume writing, and you should never skip it. If you want to be absolutely sure that your resume is mistake-free, there are a couple of things you can try.

The easiest way to go is to give it to a friend or family member to proofread or use online spelling and grammar checks.

Alternative methods to this one are reading it out loud, pointing each word with a pen while proofreading, and some people find it helpful to print it, as they find it easier to spot errors.

Or, ideally, you can hire a professional career counselor to help you build the best resume.

No matter what method you choose, make sure you do it carefully. Even spelling or grammatical errors can potentially cost you the job.

Unnecessary personal information.

Your resume should be all about your work experience and skills.

Personal information like gender, sexual orientation, height, weight, religion, and political views should not be included on your resume. In most cases, it is even illegal for the employer to ask you for that information.

If you are wondering whether you should include some personal information on your resume, just ask yourself if it is relevant to the job position you are applying for. If the answer is no, there is no place for it on your resume.

Negative comments about a former employer.

In your resume, there is no reason for you to justify any career move you have made.

You don’t need to explain if you are dissatisfied with your current or past positions. You only need to include what is relevant to the job position you are applying for.

Focus on the objective facts, your achievements, and everything you have learned.

But overall, keep it positive.

Avoid speaking negatively about your past posаitions and the organizations you have worked for.

Passive voice.

The most important thing about your resume is that it is about you. It shows who you are, and it should do it in the best possible light.

And your career is not just a fairy tale that you are sharing with your potential employer. That’s why passive voice has no place on your resume. You need to take credit for making things happen by using lots of action verbs.

That’s how you have a chance of making an impression on the hiring manager. So make sure you use some really strong action verbs and take full advantage of your experience.

Here's a list of action verbs for your resume that can help you steer clear from passive communication. Or… you can switch to our resume builder and get an AI-powered writing assistant.

Unprofessional еmail.

Any personal email addresses from college may seem fun, but they are absolutely inappropriate for job searching.

The same goes for shared email addresses or work ones. Your email address should look professional and personal. Otherwise, your resume might never be opened.

The safe way to go is to create an email with a provider like Gmail and keep it reserved for job-searching activities only. Probably, the best personal and professional-friendly email is

Read our full guide on featuring contact information on your resume.

Full mailing address.

In the modern times that we live in, a home address is no longer a requirement in your resume. It's better not to include it. There are various factors that can hurt your chances of getting an interview, related to your home address.

For example, the hiring manager may consider that your productivity at work would be affected if you live further away from the office and have to travel for a long time.

Another reason to not include your home address is the chance of your resume reaching someone you would not want. Potential identity theft is more than enough of a reason to not include your home address.

The safest way to go here is to include the city, state, and postcode, or even leave out your address altogether.

Read our full guide on featuring your address on your resume.


We are all done.

Now you know what not to put on your resume. You are ready to stick out in front of the crowd of candidates by providing only the necessary information.

Don’t forget – your resume is all about you, so make sure it presents you in the best possible light. Check out everything you should leave out of your resume once again and get one step closer to getting your next interview.

Make your move!
Your resume is an extension of yourself.
Make one that's truly you.
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Evgeni Asenov
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