Once upon a time, in a far distant land, job recruiters and hiring managers demanded to know all they could about a potential candidate. They expected hobbies, personal identification, photos, age, etc. included on the resume. Thankfully, the resume police saved the day. Now applicants need only include information relevant to the job listing.

Resumes should never be longer than two pages. Those empty spaces on the resume are valuable – think of it as real estate investments, and information should be carefully selected. Here are a few elements not to include on your resume.

Remove those dull, long, bland sentences.

Passive sentences take up more room in a resume than any other element. Get rid of the Yoda talk, and replace it with clear, active language. For example, “Responsible for controlling inventory for the IT department” is a lame sentence. It sounds better, and shorter, if you said “Optimized IT department's inventory.” Focus on your achievements and what you accomplished, not your job description. Job descriptions are just regurgitated sentences and a waste of everyone's time.

Get rid of that weird design.

Yes, Word has hundreds of pre-populated resume designs. But those weird looking fill-in-the-blank boxes are clunky and just plain odd. Use simple themes and formats, focusing on section headers, simple fonts, reduced table use, and more bullets. On the other hand, your resume should stand out. Hiring a professional resume writer to look over and edit your resume and cover letter will help prevent redundancies and design flaws.

Keep your age a secret.

Okay, you're forty, raised three children, and worked as Mr. Rogers' intern. This is good news, just don't tell anyone. Hiring managers want fresh workers with new ideas. It's sad but true. Age can be a disqualifier to landing the job. Corporations sometimes believe older, wiser employees cost more and do less. While this isn't true, younger counterparts take advantage of this. Remove the following to conceal age:

  • Don't list experience older than ten years.

  • Don't include your date of birth or age.

  • Don't draw attention to education, training, certifications, and licensures that occurred more than ten years ago.

Please change your email address.

This is not the time to draw a laugh from your audience. Your mother and boyfriend may think SexyBamaBlonde23@hotmail.com is cute; it's not. If your email address is unprofessional, change it. Career coaches suggest using your name as your email prefix. Many people may find this difficult. If your name is not available, try variations using your initials, middle name, and area code. Here a few more suggestions:

  • Don't use someone else's email.

  • Try to include your name in the email.

  • Don't use weird prefixes.

  • Be consistent.

College was about your education not all your activities.

It's easy to overcrowd your resume with unnecessary information. Everyone wants the hiring manager to know all this great stuff about them. Resist the temptation to stuff your resume. One, it will likely never get read, and two, it will never get read. Hiring managers receive literally thousands of resumes in a year. They cannot ready every college activity listed.

There are two sides of the coin here – recent grads and not so recent grads. Recent graduates will include more information than basic information. Here are the do's and don'ts.


  • Include your GPA.

  • List awards only the top ten percent receive.

  • List scholarships the top ten percent receive.

  • List special projects, internships, etc. associated with your career path.

  • Draw attention to study abroad trips.


  • List every award and scholarship you won.

  • Tell them about associations and organizations unless they are relevant to the job and are appropriate or non-controversial.

  • List every project you worked on.

  • List your classes unless they are VERY relevant to the job.

Those who graduated more than two years ago have a simpler task. Only include the degree, major, school, location, GPA, and year graduate, if not too long ago. Other than those elements, recent graduates only benefit from bragging about educational accomplishments.

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