Your resume is one of the most important documents you will ever own. In seconds, it can determine whether or not you get the job you want. It should be kept clear, concise, and easy to read. Whether you’re writing your first resume, or making some overdue changes, leave these things out.


Objective statements are dead. Your objective was made clear by applying for the job. Stating the obvious or talking about why the job would be great for you not only wastes precious space, but also brings the focus to what the employer can do for you, not what you can do for the employer.

Irrelevant and Old Work Experience

Nobody cares that you were employee of the month and a master sandwich artisan when you were in high school. Any work experience not relevant to the field you’re interested in wastes valuable resume space. Work experience older than 15 years is usually best to keep off as well. If necessary, it can be given a single line or two in an “Additional Experience” section. Almost no job today is the same as it was 15 years ago, and including these older dates can put you at risk of being turned away because of your age.

Hobbies and Personal Information

In most cases, nobody cares. Although there may be hiring managers and recruiters that make their decisions based on this information, do you really want to work at a company that hires, fires, and promotes based on anything but your professional performance? If your hobbies are relevant to your industry, they can be talked about in a cover letter and your LinkedIn profile. Anything else wastes your time and the reader’s.


In a recent CareerBuilder survey, 75% of HR managers reported having caught a lie on a resume. Your resume is one of the most important tools you have for finding a job, and mistakes as small as a typo could mean the difference between getting the job you want or continuing the search. Larger mistakes, embellishments, and blatant lies are usually easy to uncover through social media or contact with your previous employers, and they will end with your resume in the trash.

Many lies may be misguided attempts to compensate for not being as qualified for a position as you would like to be, but about 42% of HR managers say they’d consider a candidate who only met three out of five key qualifications for a role.

Too Much Text

On average, recruiters and hiring managers spend under a minute initially reviewing a resume. One in five recruiters say they spend less than 30 seconds. Think about it. They have hundreds of resumes to sort through. They don’t have time to read every detail of every submission they’ve received. If you’re using 8pt font and enormous walls of text, it will not get read. Short 1-3 sentence descriptions and sections of no more than eight bullet points are easy to read quickly.

If you want to spend time talking about the details of your positions or much older information, use LinkedIn. LinkedIn serves as an extension of your resume. Read more about networking with LinkedIn...


If they want to see your references, they’ll ask you for them. It is also best to tell your references that an employer may be calling them soon. Saying “references available upon requests” just wastes space.

Generic Accomplishments

Everyone’s resume talks about how they’re the best for the job. Saying you “orchestrated the development and implementation of X” doesn’t mean anything to your new employer. Don’t just claim to be better than the other applicants, show it. Metrics and statistics that quantify your accomplishments prove your worth and show the value you bring to your employers. Saying you “increased Y by Z% by orchestrating the development and implementation of X” means a lot more with the quantifiable information.