When applying for a job, it is important that your resume stands out from the rest of the applicants for that job opening. Every hiring manager has a range of techniques to help them see the best applicants, some being able to spot them with just one glance at their resume. Others may wish to look for the best resume extractor, to aid them in the hiring process, and there is a wide range of available software out there to do just that. 

As a recruiter specialised in hiring the right freelancer for my clients, I always made it a point to go through every resume sent to me. However, it can be very frustrating to hunt down the key info I need in a junk of oversharing information. It is almost like finding a needle in the haystack. If I am not careful or I happened to be tired that day, I may have missed out the one thing that I am looking from your resume.

How can you get their attention with your resume? Are there points that you shouldn’t include?

To help you get the attention of your recruiter, here are some of the things you shouldn’t include in your resume:

Your life history

Some people believe that presenting a comprehensive and detailed resume is best. With a comprehensive resume, recruiters have everything they need to know about your profile. However, recruiters do not want to see your full life history in your resume, especially if it is not related to the job you are trying to apply for.

Things to take out from your resume:

  • Internship (especially it is more than 3 years ago)
  • Part-time work that are not related to the position you are applying for (no, selling ice-cream will not impress me if you are applying for a sales manager position.)
  • Really old historical jobs (if the job experience is 20 years ago, please take it out unless you’ve been in the company for 20 years.)

2. Your photo

Although photos used to be a major requirement in resumes, nowadays it is no longer required to prevent gender bias in hiring. They will definitely see your photo when they see your LinkedIn page or your social media page.

Read More: Should You Place Your Photo On Your Resume?

3. Unclear objective statement

As an applicant, you have to show to your recruiter what you hope to gain if you get in the job. Some people tend to write objective statements that don’t focus on the job they are trying to apply for.

For example: My objective is to secure a challenging career in the retail industry so I can perfect my marketing and sales skills learnt in my course of studies.
Position applied: Accountant assistant or Teacher or Babysitter

Always write a different objective whenever you apply for a job and it must reflect the job you are trying to apply for.

Yes, that means you need to tailor your resume for each and every job you applied for. It shows sincerity.

4. Irrelevant personal data

Some people may have done a lot of extracurricular activities that they may want to include in their resume like community service. Others may even include their marital status on it even if it is not required.

Your hiring manager doesn’t need to know about them because they don’t need to know about it. It is actually not allowed for hiring managers to ask about personal details.

Unless personal details will help to elevate your case, for example, your volunteer work in the animal pound will be an added advantage to work in a veterinary clinic. Because it show your compassion and patience towards animals.

5. Unexplained gaps in the resume

There will be cases when there will be gaps in your resume because of layoffs or if you went freelancing.

While it is ok to have gaps caused by employment changes, it is a different manner if you can’t explain the reason for these gaps.

You can include freelance jobs or courses if they will assist you in the job if they are the reason for these gaps.

Read More: 5 Things You Need To Do While You’re Unemployed

6. Grammatical errors

Your resume must definitely be clear from any grammatical errors because your resume will display how well you write and how you organize details.

If there is a typo somewhere in the resume, it can be used against your application. You should always make it a point to proofread your resume before sending it to a hiring manager.

I usually use Grammarly to vet my work before handing in. Its not 100% typo proof (no robots is better than a human’s eye) but it is good enough to catch major mistakes.

Read More: Review: Grammarly.com


A resume serves as a marketing advertisement to promote yourself to hiring managers and recruiters who can help you land your dream job. If it is filled with details that are not related to the job, it may cause some problems for you in the long run. Always prepare a different resume for every job you apply for and make sure it is filled with the right information to support your case.

Need help in your resume? Here are some tips:
Key Things You Need To Have In Your Resume
Should You Lie In Your Resume?
Valentine’s Day Giveaway: A Free Resume Template

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37 replies on “What Employers Do Not Want to See on Your Resume

  1. Part-time work that are not related to the position you are applying for

    – My current resume includes a volunteer role I had for six months last year. It wasn’t anything special, but it’s all I have for that period. Without it, the first half of 2019 is a void.

    So it’s there to fill that space, principally. The role itself entailed customer service, and I trained a new staff member in sales and banking procedures.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s 50/50 true. I usually don’t bother asking for references when I’m hiring. I believe in giving people 2nd chances. Plus those references are just going to sugarcoat everything about the candidate, so why bother?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations Kally! I have nominated you for the Kennedy Award For Excellence, please see my blog post under the same name for details! I look forward to reading your response to the questions upon acceptance of the award! 😃🙏💛👊🎉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Accountant assistant or Teacher or Babysitter”
    LOL! Reminds me of the old engineering-management jab… “When at first you don’t succeed, lower your standards.”
    (Although the teachers I know would likely skewer me for saying that.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ouch! But you are right. I’m so 50/50 about that jab. While it is somewhat true if your head is up in the cloud for thinking the Prince Charming will fall into your lap but on the other hand, kiss a frog and he may turn into a prince!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. All very good tips! When I was first entering the job search, I added a lot of extracurricular and volunteer activities because I didn’t have much experience to emphasize. I’m guessing that including or focusing on those later in your career might make you look more inexperienced than you actually are.


  5. Great, list but I will say its okay to list an Internship more than 3 years old especially if its with a major company, you interned for more than 6 months, and it provided you with skills for the current position you are applying for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, it does open up a lot of questions like why did you not stayed on further after your internship, did you not perform your best? Major companies will usually jump at the chance to offer a permanent position if the intern is really good. Even if the intern need to continue his studies, likely the offer will be extended after his studies completed.


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