It’s hard to know exactly what to say in a résumé, much less how to say it. A great résumé will highlight your experience, skills, qualifications, education or training, and community involvement. A well-written resume will also leave out certain details that are either best left for the interview or best left unaddressed altogether. Check out this list of things to avoid on your résumé.
Along with “me,” “my,” and “mine,” this word is off limits in résumé writing. The document has your name on it, so recruiters will know who it’s referring to. Putting too much of this self-focused language in your résumé will make you sound inexperienced at best and self-absorbed at worst. Instead of saying “I exceeded the goal by 30%,” simply put “Exceeded the goal by 30%.”
Your résumé should honestly represent your work and accomplishments, not dwell on your failures. Focus on the positive when writing your résumé, and describe actions, results and improvements you made. Employers may ask questions about strengths and weaknesses in an interview, which gives you a chance to elaborate in person, so save stories of failure and triumph for when you’ve already got the employer’s attention.
Unless you recently graduated and had a grade point above 3.5, don’t put your GPA on your résumé. A high GPA is not usually relevant to employers, and a low GPA can actually take you out of consideration, so save that space to describe community involvement instead.
Stating explicitly on a résumé that you were fired from a position, even if you go into detail and explain your side of things, is an absolute no-no if you want to land another job. You may (or may not) have been on the side of right in a termination situation, but bringing it up on your résumé that you were fired not only demonstrates that you could be a difficult employee to work with, it also makes you appear naïve to the hiring process.
It doesn’t matter how much you despise something – a task, a company, a political stance, a policy, a person or a former employer. No matter what, avoid saying you hate anything in your résumé. Negative language makes you appear to be a negative person, a trait which isn’t looked upon kindly by recruiters.
Take a glance at your résumé and see if any of these no-nos made their way into it. If so, it’s time to update it. And while you’re at it, you might enjoy these related posts.