15 Things You Should Never Put on Your Resume

If allowed, job applicants can provide all the information they deem fit in a bid to stand out from other applicants and possibly land that dream position. Nonetheless, no matter the urge to provide as much information as possible, some details just don’t belong on your resume. Most of the time, a one-page resume is ideal, meaning you have to use the available space wisely by providing only relevant information on your application.

So, how can you end up with essential information on your resume? One sure way is by understanding what not to put on a resume. See, if you know what not to add to your application, you will avoid bombarding the talent acquisition manager with too many random facts. In turn, you will end up with a resume that highlights relevant details, thus, increasing your chances of getting hired.  

With that cleared out, below, we discuss 15 things that should not be included on a resume. Go through them to understand what you can leave out to ensure that you craft an excellent application.


Personal Information

Details such as gender, nationality, disability, birth location, political inclination, date of birth, weight, height, and so forth should not be provided in your resume. Why? Recruiters should not make any decision regarding hiring you by assessing such factors. So, if you include them, they might think that you are attempting to push them to make their decision by looking at these attributes. Consequently, this move might get your application on the rejection pile.

Your Personal Photo

Unless you are hoping to become a model or actor, it’s been written in a job description or is a common rule for your country – your photo should be never included on a resume. Why? Most recruiters do not fancy being pulled into discrimination complaints, and will, therefore, prefer to hire someone based on merit and not looks. In fact, today, some countries forbid this practice because it often leads to biases during the hiring process.

Detailed Address Information

Do not go over and beyond with your address details. It means information such as your house number and street should be left out. In this case, including your city and country is enough.

Lengthy Descriptions

Do not go on and on with your explanations. Instead, be brief to enable the recruiter to scheme through your application while getting a good idea of your qualifications and skills at the same time. Do not feel the need to go into details regarding every post you have held.

Low GPA and In-depth Information on Education

If you are not a fresh graduate, never put in your resume anything to do with your GPA, high school education, and accomplishments from that period of your life. When it comes to the GPA, however, if you have one higher than 3.5, it is okay to include it in your resume for a fresher. As you can tell, the trick here is to avoid telling your potential boss about an achievement that is not that good. You do not want them having the impression that you are not adequately qualified by providing a low score from high school or college.


Uncompleted Education

Avoid providing information on courses you did not finish on your resume. Such details can counter your efforts of landing a job as they imply that you have not achieved the necessary skills and knowledge that come with the course in question. Even if you had a month to go, do not mention it. Once you go back, finish, and get a certificate, you can always include the qualification in your resume. However, this rule doesn’t work with education in progress. If you are studying something right now and planning to complete – you may add this information to your resume.

Unrelated Work Experience, Skills, and Other Irrelevant Info

Everything you put on your resume should show the employer that you possess the requirements for the post. For this reason, you have to go through the vacancy description diligently to identify the right details you need to provide. This way, you will avoid including inapplicable experience, unwanted capabilities, among other unnecessary facts. All told, the bottom line is no matter how you feel about your knowledge and skills, do not include them on your resume if they are not necessary to the post.

Outdated Skills

No employer wants to bring an employee with backward abilities to their team. As such, if you have any work-related skills that do not suit the modern-day workplace, it is best to leave them off your resume. If you decide otherwise and include the same, you will show the potential recruiter that you have nothing to bring forth that can help them stay competitive in the current market.

Salary History

It is wrong to quote your previous salary on your resume. Instead, you need to wait until you have been invited to a screening to bring up the matter. Providing details regarding your past remuneration can make you lose an opportunity, especially when the same does not match what the potential recruiter offers. On a side note, here are some salary negotiation tips you can try.

Unrelated Hobbies

Interests that do not display any skills that are relevant to the advertised role should be left off of a resume. As an applicant, you have to think and identify hobbies that are most suited to the position offered. Then, you can create the skills section and add them there.


References and Names/ Contacts of the Present Employer

Only include a reference section in your resume when you are asked to do so. Most of the time, such a directive is communicated in the vacancy description or organization website. In the meantime, learn how you can write references well if it is required of you.

Another thing not to include in your resume is the contact information of your present boss. You only have to provide such details when your potential employer request for the same.

Negative Words and Ideas

Your resume should not include information on what you have not achieved. Rather, it should focus on appropriate skills that you have accomplished or are planning to achieve. Case in point, if you attended an educational institution, but you did not graduate, do not write, “never graduated.” Instead, simply provide the dates you were at the school/ college.

Another thing to leave off your resume is any negative information regarding your past boss. Providing such details can make you come off as bitter and will also show that you are likely to badmouth your present employer should you lose your job.

Phrases with “I”

Avoid personal pronouns on your resume. Begin your sentences with skill, action, or accomplishment words, for example, “managed,” “attained,” and so forth. This way, you will engage the recruiter better. Also, you should not provide an objective that highlights what you want to gain from a role. Instead, tell why you are valuable to the organization and what they will achieve with you on board.

Spelling and Grammatical Errors

Misspellings and grammar mistakes are sure to water down the quality of your application. Moreover, they can show the hiring manager that you do not pay attention to detail. To avoid such, be sure to proofread your resume. Better yet, you can ask a friend to check it for you as it is often difficult to catch one’s own mistakes.

Exaggerations and Lies

Exaggerations and downright fabrications have no place in an excellent resume. Even if you feel your qualifications and skills are inadequate, it is always best to hold your truth. Seasoned hiring executives can spot any falsehood in your resume easily and throw you out of the race.

As we wind up on things not to include on a resume, remember that these are the general rules of thumb. In specific cases, there will be exceptions, meaning you will have to do as you are required. For instance, if your country/ job description demands that you provide a photograph, references, etc., it is best to abide by the specifics. All told, the rest of the time, be sure not to include the things we have highlighted here in your resume.