INLAND EMPIRE – Choosing what to include and exclude from your resume can be difficult, especially for applicants without extensive work histories. Professionals with significant experience likely have enough to fill up a resume, but younger professionals often fret about how to fill up their resumes despite limited work histories. Any relevant professional experience, be it an internship or volunteering history, is safe to include on a resume. But applicants should keep the following items off their resumes as they hunt for their next jobs.
Photos: Photos should be kept off resumes, as personal photos have nothing to do with a person’s qualifications. Even job seekers applying for photography positions won’t want to put photos on their resumes. Such materials should be included in a portfolio but never on a resume.
Hobbies and/or personal interests: It can be tempting for applicants with limited work histories to list their hobbies and interests, but in many cases such information is irrelevant and can frustrate hiring managers who want to find relevant qualifications on a resume as quickly as possible. If a resume is bogged down with information about an applicant’s hobbies and interests, then a hiring manager is likely to grow impatient and move on to the next applicant. Unless a hobby is especially relevant to a position, it should not be included on a resume.
Irrelevant past experience: Prior experience that is irrelevant to the position you’re applying for should be kept off your resume. For example, a high school job as a grocery clerk likely has little relevance when applying for an entry level finance position. It’s important to remember when applying for entry level positions that few entry level candidates will have extensive employment histories, so don’t feel bad if your resume is less than meaty.
Salary expectations: Some job postings will ask that you list salary requirements. This can be a delicate topic, as no one wants to exclude themselves by asking for too much money or appear desperate by asking for too little. A good approach when asked for salary requirements is simply to write, “Salary negotiable” somewhere on your resume. Never include salary requirements unless a job listing specifically requests such information.
Personal information: Personal information, including marital status, sexual orientation, whether or not you have children and your religious beliefs should always be kept off a resume. Such information is irrelevant, and it’s illegal for companies to consider such information during the hiring process.
Inappropriate email address: Many people have a playful email address that reflects a nickname friends and family can identify with. Such addresses are fine when communicating with family and friends, but use a more professional email address when applying for jobs. The address can include your name, such as firstname.lastname@example.org or simply your initials followed by the domain name of your email server. Fair or unfair, an unprofessional email address on a resume may give prospective employers the impression that applicants are immature.