Seven Things to Leave Off Your Resume
Several AOL readers have written in to ask what to leave off of a resume. While every job seeker is unique, here are some general items I recommend leaving off of your resume to achieve optimal results.
Most hiring managers I talk to are not interested in reading resume objectives. Frequently objectives sound very cliched and they rarely communicate what a candidate can do for an employer.
Instead, use a professional summary that outlines your competencies and proves how you can help solve business problems.
2. Months of employment
Generally, employers are only interested in knowing the year you started and ended employment with a company. Reporting the exact month along with the year is unnecessary.
The exception to this rule is if you have been with a company for less than two years. In that case include the month and year so they can accurately gauge how many months you were employed in a short-tenure position.
The term "references available upon request" is dated and unnecessary on the resume. Employers know that you will supply references if asked.
Unless you have a hobby that is in some way related to your job target, it's usually best not to mention these. The fact that you enjoy reading and traveling is rarely of interest to the hiring manager.
5. Your picture
In a U.S. job market, pictures should not be included on a resume. Hiring managers legally cannot consider your picture in determining if you are to be interviewed or hired, and many companies won't even consider resumes that are submitted with a picture to ensure they are in compliance with Equal Opportunity Employer legislation.
Including salary information on your resume generally works against you. When included, a hiring manager may use this information to benchmark whether or not the candidate falls within the salary range of their open position. Since a past salary is only an indication of your earnings in a particular job at a particular point in time, it really isn't an accurate reflection of what you should be paid in another job.
If you apply to an open job and they request a salary history, list a salary range in your cover letter instead to give you a bit more wiggle room if you are called in for an interview.
7. Your GPA
Generally, as you gain work experience, your GPA becomes irrelevant to hiring managers. No one will care if you had a 3.8 GPA in 1992 if you can't prove recent success in the positions you have held.
Unless you are a recent college graduate, keep your GPA off of your resume. And if you are a recent college graduate, only include your GPA if it is a 3.0 or better.
Barbara Safani, owner of Career Solvers, has over fifteen years of experience in career management, recruiting, executive coaching, and organizational development.
Barbara partners with both Fortune 100 companies and individuals to deliver targeted programs focusing on resume development, job search strategies, networking, interviewing, salary negotiation skills, and online identity management.
She is the author of Happy About My Resume: 50 Tips For Building a Better Document to Secure a Brighter Future and #JOBSEARCHtweet and her award-winning resumes are featured in dozens of career-related publications.