7 Things to Leave off your Resume

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Julie Johnson headshot.
Julie Johnson
Talent Acquisition Partner
July 22, 2021

We’ve seen a lot of resumes in our time as staffing specialists, and keeping a short and sweet profile is always a priority when looking to get hired. Here at That’s Good HR, we agree with these seven things you can take out of your resume, compiled by a major CEO who has read more than 1,000 resumes this year alone. Make more room for the important stuff by removing these top seven items during your next resume review.

Irrelevant factoids

Hobbies and interests can be great to share at an interview, but you don’t need to include them on your resume. The priority when staffing specialists or hiring managers review your resume is a focus on the job requirements, not how you spend your time outside of work. Unless it’s especially relevant to your application, save the mention of your favorite hobby for later. 

Personal pronouns

Although including your preferred pronouns (she/her/hers) are becoming more common on resumes and LinkedIn profiles, you don’t need to use personal pronouns when discussing the tasks you’ve completed in past positions. For example, you can just write, “managed payroll for 50 employees” rather than, “I managed payroll for 50 employees.” The reader knows it’s your resume, so you don’t need to clarify… plus it can cut down on word count and save more space.

Headshot photos

Headshots on resumes are unnecessary for several reasons. It can come off as unprofessional for just about any job aside from modeling or acting, and it may also impact the format of your resume and make it harder to read or process. Photos can also lead to an unconscious bias during a hiring manager’s resume review (either positively or negatively) based on gender, race or age, so it’s best to just leave them off your resume.

An abundance of soft skills

What are soft skills? These are things like multitasking, organization skills, or work ethic. Although these skills are important to have, it’s hard to back them up with proof on a resume, so they may end up looking like nothing more than filler. 

Try to demonstrate your soft skills with action words and quantifiable facts instead. What once read, “Top quality organization and filing skills,” could be changed to, “Organized and digitized multiple client file systems, leading to X% higher office productivity.”

An unprofessional email address

You probably already know that you should have a professional email address name, something like “JillSmith21,” instead of, “sexiimama420.” However, even your email provider can give hints into your professionalism and technology skills. Outdated accounts like AOL or Hotmail (or an email address from your current employer) can send up red flags, so try to stick with a more professional email platform like Gmail or Outlook. 

Outdated job experience

The older the position on your resume, the less the hiring team will care about it. Showing longevity or relevant experience can be helpful, but positions that are less important to your career goals and older than 10-15 years aren’t. So leave off that cashier position at the Tastee-Freez you held in high school, and add more compelling details to your recent (and hopefully more relevant) positions. 

Mailing address (especially for out-of-state or remote jobs)

Finally, a note for job seekers applying to remote positions or for a new job out-of-state. Including your mailing address is standard for local positions, it may not be necessary if you’re looking to work remotely or move far away. Including a physical address can even be a security risk for job applicants posting their resume online. 

If you are applying to a new job out-of-state, you could replace your address with a note about when you will be relocating to the company’s area. If you are applying to a remote position, it shouldn’t matter where you’re located aside from maybe including your time zone. 

Need a resume review?

Have more questions about what to include in your resume (or what not to)? Call the staffing specialists at That’s Good HR at 317-469-4141 or get in touch online today. We’d be happy to help you finetune your resume and match you with the right Indianapolis employer.