What Not to Put On Your Resume

You are aware that a strong resume is essential to your job hunt. In order for hiring managers to decide whether you are qualified for a position, your resume must highlight your abilities, experience, work history, and significant accomplishments.

You might be surprised to learn that there are a few items that shouldn’t be on your resume—things that won’t help you get a job but also won’t hurt your chances either. Keep in mind that every millimeter of your resume is important real estate, advises Kelly Marinelli, president of Solve HR, Inc. and panelist on talent acquisition at the Society for Human Resource Management.

What exactly should not be on a resume today? To determine the top items to remove from your resume right away, we talked to career counselors and resume writers.

Career Objective

Simply put: A career objective is mostly irrelevant. According to Wendy Enelow, co-author of Modernize Your Resume: Get the Job You Want, “It informs an employer what you want from them, while the focus should truly be on the employer’s needs.” Get Seen…Find Work.

Furthermore, according to Alyssa Gelbard, head of international career advisory company Point Road Group, by including a professional aim, “you’re essentially pigeonholing yourself.” It can seriously limit your chances if you apply for a job that doesn’t exactly fit your goals because you’re effectively telling the company that this isn’t the proper position for you.

Enelow advises starting your resume with a career overview rather than an objective, in which you show your strengths and how you may benefit the organization.

Home Address

Enelow advises against posting your home address on your CV due to privacy concerns and the risk of identity theft if it falls into the wrong hands.

However, she suggests putting your city and state on your CV if you’re going for a local position to demonstrate that you’re a local applicant. When applying for a job outside of your hometown, it’s acceptable to fully omit your location so that you don’t unintentionally disqualify yourself from consideration.

Soft Skills in A Skills Section

According to Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, executive resume writer and proprietor of Dallas-based coaching company Career Trend, if you’re going to include a skills section on your resume, it should be focused on hard talents and competencies rather than soft skills. Soft skills are crucial, but Barrett-Poindexter advises including them in the job experience section. Where can you therefore genuinely rely on your soft skills? your letter of interest.


According to Scott Vedder, a Fortune 100 recruiter, and author of Signs of a Great Resume, providing inferred information on your resume like contact information for references or “references available upon request” is a waste of space. Why would you write “references upon request” if you don’t write “interviews accessible upon request”? When the moment is right, hiring managers will inquire about your references because they are aware of them.

Unique fonts

Readability is important, but so is appearance. Choose a professional-looking font rather than one that is overly stylized or fanciful. Calibri and Verdana are two examples of common typefaces that will read nicely from your computer to the recipients.

High School Education

The education part of your CV shouldn’t go back too far. For instance, “it’s assumed that you graduated from high school if you have a college degree,” according to Vedder.

There are specific situations in which you should emphasize something from your high school years, though. According to Marinelli, “some job applicants had really important employment experiences in high school.” “If you founded a business while in high school, you might include that in the work experience area.”

A Photo of Yourself

Barrett-Poindexter cautions that including a photo of oneself on your résumé may expose you to discrimination. It’s preferable to upload your photo to your personal website or social media networks, where hiring managers and recruiters are more likely to see it.

One warning, however: “I’d recommend including it on your resume if you’re in an industry where your appearance is part of what you’re selling, like broadcast journalism or the performing arts,” advises Enelow. (For these kinds of roles, check the job description to determine if submitting a professional headshot or sizzle reel is actually necessary.)