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Dust Off the Cobwebs! What Should You Be Leaving Off Your Resume?

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Space is at a premium on your resume – and longer does not equal better. In fact, in most cases, the opposite is true. Every word should matter when it comes to the job you’re applying for. 

If you’re not convinced, consider this reality: On average, employers initially scan a candidate’s resume for only six to seven seconds. So, you’d best make every word count, unless you want yours to wind up in the dreaded discard bin. 

What should you eliminate? 

You may rightfully be proud of every single thing on your resume, from your very first job – hey, you rocked it as a babysitter back in college or when checking out groceries at the local convenience store – to your high school extracurriculars. And maybe they are important. Or not. Again, it all depends on the job.  

  • The magic word is “relevant” when it comes to what to leave on your resume and what to cut, the magic word is “relevant.” Whether that job, club, volunteer gig, or course took place yesterday or 10 years ago, employers will only be interested in the details if it means you’d be a better fit for their open position. 

In addition, there are other unnecessary resume elements that you should steer clear of if you hope to get that much-awaited call for an interview. They include: 

Too much text:  

Stay away from large text blocks, and use white space to your advantage. Bullet points (hah! Yes, this is one!) are an effective way to highlight key points, and, on resumes, the format lends itself to a series of direct links between a job description and your qualifications. 

Spelling or grammar mistakes:  

There is no place for them on your resume. Period. So, print it out and reread it yourself. Then, have a trusted friend or family member do the same. 

Anything dishonest:  

This should go without saying, and yet … a significant percentage of people lie or embellish content on their resumes. Don’t go there. Because, spoiler alert: Employers will check – and you will get caught. 

TMI about your personal life:  

Unless your family situation, religious beliefs, or political leanings are directly and specifically related to your application – and double/triple/quadruple check this before allowing it to happen – leave them off your resume. Focus instead on the skills that make you an outstanding candidate. 


Omit any details that do not speak well of former employers or why you left a job. Similarly, describe your previous experience only in positive terms. It’s fine – and can even be beneficial – to highlight challenges you have faced and overcome, but never speak negatively about another person or organization. 

Prepare to Find Your Next Role 

As you polish up your resume – or start your resume, prepare for your interview, or are at Square 1 or even Square 201 when it comes to your job search in the recruitment industry – consider partnering with the experts at Search Wizards. We are recruiters, we know recruiters, and we’ll make you a part of our amazing network and place you in the best environment to let your strengths shine. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more. 



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