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Career Coach

What Not to Include on Your Resume

Published November 21, 2012 11:29 AM by Renee Dahring

If you are looking for a new job you have probably been researching what to include in your resume.  I know it is certainly one of the most frequent questions readers ask me. Today, however, I am going to reverse direction and tell you 5 things you should NOT include in your resume. 

  1. Never, ever include your license numbers or your social security number on your resume.  I see this all the time (which is why it's #1 on my list!) So if you are guilty of putting your license numbers on your resume I have only 2 words for you -"identity theft." It's risky and employers don't need this information until they are ready to hire you. Yes, I know you want to let them know you are licensed, but instead of sharing your vital information you can just note "current" or give an expiration date after each of your certifications or licenses and that will suffice. 
  2. There are some personal elements that should never be part of a professional resume in the year 2012. These include your religion, marital status, your height, weight or pretty much any other physical description of yourself. It might go over well in a personal ad, but when it comes to your resume it's just too much information. Granted, I don't see this frequently but I do see it enough that I feel compelled to include it on this list. 
  3. "Passed boards on 1st attempt." If you think this is an impressive statement then we really need to talk! (And it won't be about hiring you.) Some things are just better left unsaid. I honestly don't know what possesses some people to put remarks like this in their resumes but they do it with a fair amount of regularity. I mean, did you not expect to pass the first time? 
  4. Keep your references to yourself! If you put the names of your references in your resume it may lead potential employers to believe that it is OK if they contact your references. Believe me, neither you nor your references want this to happen. The appropriate time to disclose your references is when a job offer is pending or on the table. Oh, and there is also no need to include the "references upon request" heading in your resume anymore either.  Don't waste precious space on your resume only to state the obvious.
  5. Grade point average. I know this is going to hurt your feelings, but no one cares. Let me say it again, but slower. NO. ONE. CARES.  There, I said it.  Adding your grade point average is just pretentious or foolish - depending on what your GPA was.
Need a resume guide? Check out my website


Although I have not committed the cardinal sins listed, I am glad that you have shared these dont's.  I know many who toot their GPAs hoping that it will impress the interviewer.

euphemia lazarus, Nursing Edu - Asst. Prof. II, College April 24, 2014 10:23 AM
Blackwood NJ

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About this Blog

    Occupation: Nurse Practitioners and NP Recruiters
    Setting: correctional healthcare/career consulting/teaching
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