Engineering graduate navigating life after university.

6 Things That Should NOT Be On Your Resume

In my previous article I talked about 5 things your resume should have as suggested by a recruiter. In this post I will talk about the 5 things your resume should NOT have also suggested by a recruiter. A lot of these things stated apply to resumes in Canada and the USA. I know that resumes in the UK and even in the middle east differ. So please keep your location in mind when reading these tips as they are tailored to resumes in North America.

1. Pictures, personal information, social media links

I’m pretty sure everyone knows that having a picture on a resume is downright silly. But then when I went to university I worked in the career center and was really surprised at how many students put their pictures on a resume. My recruiter friend (who by the way works in HR at a leading bank in Canada) says that having pictures on a resume is acceptable when applying for a job overseas, but within North America, just get rid of it. It isn’t required.

What is also not required is anything about your marital status, religion, or social security number (don’t ever enclose your security number to someone). This information is now illegal to be asked by any employer. The only social media link that is acceptable on your resume is LinkedIn. You can customize your linkedin url so that it also looks more polished.

2. That liner about hobbies, and interests

Sure employers want to hire someone with personality but show case that personality in interviews not a piece of paper. Don’t waste that space on a paper saying you play varsity volleyball. It has no relation to the job posting.

3. Objective

I remember in high school when we took a civics and career course we were given an assignment to write a resume following a template. That template had an objective. Recruiters now argue that the objective liner is better in your cover letter than in your resume. Your resume should show how qualified and skilled you are. It needs to show your strengths and abilities. Spill the emotions in the cover letter.

4. Unprofessional Email address

No employer wants to write an email to someone who’s email is: You are applying to a professional job posting so make sure your contact information is polished as you are. The best email format is:

5. Appropriate tense’s: past vs present

Make sure that the jobs you’ve done in the past have starting verbs that are in the past tense such as: led, developed, initiated, presented and etc. The job that you are currently in should have starting action words in present tense such as: maintaining, developing, leading and etc. Sounds obvious? Well a lot of people make this same mistake.

6. References, charts, tables

Just don’t include references. Most companies ask about references when you pass the interview stage. If they need references they will simply ask you. It is no longer expected that references be listen on your resume. Use that extra space to your advantage.

Charts and tables are also not requires. This is isn’t a lab report. It is a summary about your work experiences and hard, technical skills.


There are so many more obvious things that should not be on your resume including: grammar mistakes, incorrect information, and inconsistent formatting. The 6 tips listed in this article are the most common mistakes in industry.

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