There are a few really obvious items that you would never omit from a professional resume, including your contact information and your most recent work experience. However, many people tend to add too much information when writing their professional resume, and there truly are a few things you can and should leave out.
1. Your Age
In the United States, a prospective employer should never ask you for your age during an interview. The exception to this rule, of course, would be if it was the type of job that had an age requirement. For instance, a minor or a person that is younger than 21 might not be allowed to hold certain jobs. However, as we are discussing the professional resume, this exception probably is not a factor.
Not only do you not need to include your age on the professional resume, you also can omit the date on which you graduated from the college or colleges you attended. You can simply state that you hold degrees from these specific universities.
2. Hobbies & Personal Information
First of all, hiring managers and hiring teams don’t care that you love playing Quidditch on weekends or are passionate about knitting sweaters for your cats. The average hiring manager might receive 50 to 100 professional resumes for one specific job, and they simply don’t have the time to ponder your favorite activities. They simply want to know about your qualifications and experience.
It’s also inappropriate for hiring teams to ask you questions about marital status, the number of children you might have, and your religion, among other things. Not only should you not be asked these types of questions, you also shouldn’t include this information on your professional resume.
3. Short Employment Gaps
It’s not uncommon for people to have short gaps in between jobs, especially given the economic climate of the last few years. If you had a three or four-month gap in employment, it probably isn’t necessary to showcase this gap on your professional resume. To avoid it, simply list your employment history in terms of years rather than months and years.
For instance, perhaps you worked from January 2009 until March 2011 at Smith Enterprises and then were laid off and did not get a new job until July of 2011. Simply list your jobs as 2009-2011 Smith Enterprises and 2011-2016 at Jones & Company on your professional resume. If an employer does ask about the exact dates during an interview, simply be honest and explain the short gap.
If you have a large gap in employment, however, be prepared to explain this during the interview time. Simply be honest and explain. Perhaps you took some time to be a stay-at-home parent or maybe you went on a year-long trip around the globe. Perhaps you were caring for a sick parent or decided to go back to school for further training. There are a million reasons why people have a gap in employment, and all of them certainly don’t reflect negatively on a potential employee.
4. Too Much Information
Often when people provide us with a copy of their professional resume, we find that they have listed far too much information. This is particularly true when it comes to work history. If you’ve been out of college and working for several years, you don’t have to list every summer job you held as a teenager. Likewise, you don’t need to list your high school or college GPAs or the many honors you earned as an undergraduate student.
Keeping a professional resume short and to the point is ideal. Again, hiring managers are wading through tons of professional resumes, so you need to hit the high points and skip the paragraph about your time as editor of your high school yearbook. Obviously, if this is your first job out of college, these part-time jobs and accomplishments might be a bit more relevant, and we can help you determine which items to include and which ones to leave off of your professional resume.
5. Errors & Anything Unprofessional
Spelling errors are simply unacceptable on a professional resume, but you probably already figured that out. Still, you would be surprised how often we find spelling and grammar errors on the resumes our clients provide to us. Still, that isn’t the only mistake you can make that will make you appear less than professional. Your email address can make you appear unprofessional, as well, so create a professional email account. No hiring manager will be impressed by an email address of email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your email should be simple, such as JohnSmith@gmail.com or KenAdams@hotmail.com
Crafting a professional resume truly is a bit of an art form, which is why we strongly recommend that you check out our services here at Resume Writing Group. Our guarantee is simple – We’ll get you hired in 90 days or less or you get your money back. You have nothing to lose, so contact us today and let’s get started on your professional resume.