Your resume is a concise snapshot of your professional background. It is not meant to be comprehensive and it should only include work related content. The biggest mistakes I have seen is when candidates include personal information that might distract from their professional story.
Your resume should not include the following details:
- Your age:
I often see resumes from candidates that either include their age at the bottom of their resume’s. Likewise, for older candidates I have seen them use terms such as “very seasoned”. Disclosing your age is ill advised for a resume because dating yourself goes beyond the scope of the purpose of a resume. Resumes are meant to market your background to companies you might be a fit for. Age considerations lead to micro-stereo types about generational differences, and at worst ageism. Age is better left out.
- Your marital status:
This is actually quite common among applicants. When we are asked about ourselves its easy to be too open of a book when it comes to our personal lives. Most applications, whether for financing a vehicle, a home loan, medical paperwork, and even tax information asks for our marriage status. So its completely understandable that some feel comfortable adding this to their resume.
The problem, however, is that hiring managers need to get beyond your relationship status and drill down to the value that you as a professional might bring to their organization. When hiring eligible candidates, absolutely 0 consideration should be given to relationship status.
- Your political affiliation:
Political affiliation is a four-letter-word on a resume. You want to avoid anything that might alienate your future employer. Any type of local political activism, canvassing for such and such political figure, and stumping for x senator speaks to an active citizenry, but it may also brand you in a bad way to potential employers from the opposite political spectrum. What you want to do is compartmentalize the political from the professional -both cannot co-exist in one place unless your profession is public service in nature. Scrubb (“remove”) political service from your resume, unless applying to a public service work.
- Classes you have taken towards a degree:
If you have not graduated from college, unfortunately including classes that you have taken do not make you more marketable to employers. Instead, enter the dates you went to college and the name of the colleges. Often the amount of time someone has been in college holds more weight than the subjects they studied.
- Degrees that you have not received yet:
This trend is very common. Candidates resume often say this at the top: “Bachelors of Science in Psychology (Expected May 2021)”. Hedging your degree-in-pursuit like that will not make your resume more marketable. It looks a little misleading on its face and is a little empty in nature. Instead, at the bottom of your resume, under “Education” write: “Bachelors of Science in Psychology (in pursuit)”. Add your program start date and a dash (-) to indicate that you are still in progress. This is more honest and it tells a broader story about pursuing a valuable goal. Or, I recommend not even including it until you have it.
There are other things that should remain off your resume, but these are the biggest yellow flags to consider before submitting your professional profile.