What to Leave Off While Writing Your Resume

Posted May 01, 2013 by
Leslie Anglesey

Leslie Anglesey

When you are preparing your resume, you want it to be letter perfect so you can convince a prospective employer that you are the best candidate for the job. One false move on this all-important document can get you passed over for a chance to be invited for that all-important interview. Which items have no place on your resume? Here are some examples of what you should not include in your writing:

Your References

You should have them ready to present to a prospective employer, but save this information until you are closer to being hired. The right time to provide your references is when you have met the employer face to face and you are on the short list of candidates for the position.

An Employment Objective

In the days before the Internet, job seekers were told to put an employment objective at the top of their resume. This was usually a very bland phrase that listed the type of work the candidate was looking for and would read something like, “To obtain a position as an [insert job title here].

That kind of writing won’t get you to the short list and into a seat in front of someone who can offer you a job. Sell yourself to the employer by adding a header that tells the employer what sets you apart. Keep it short and to the point. If you are a recent grad, tell the employer that you are bright, enthusiastic, and refer to any summer or part-time positions you held to make your point.

Religious or Political Affiliation

Your religious faith may be very important to you, or you may be heavily involved in politics. It doesn’t mean that a potential employer needs to know anything about this part of your life. It’s illegal for an employer to discriminate against a candidate based on these types of criteria but once you let this particular genie out of the bottle, you can’t go back in time and undo it.

It’s possible that the hiring manager has a particular bias against people of certain religious faiths or political views. You probably wouldn’t be able to prove that this was the reason your resume was put in the “discard” pile, but why would you give an employer a reason to exclude you from consideration?

Unless your religious affiliation has a direct bearing on the job you are applying for, don’t consider writing it on your resume. Leave politics off of it entirely.

Marital Status or Whether You Have Children

This is another area where it’s best to keep your personal information private. Employers cannot discriminate against candidates based on their family situation, but it doesn’t mean that some hiring managers are not biased against people who have children or young women when making decisions.

You want to be considered based on your suitability for the position, not discounted as a serious candidate because the employer assumes you will be taking extra time off due to family responsibilities or that you will be going on maternity leave.


Unless you are applying for a job in the entertainment industry or as a model and the job ad specifically asks for a head shot, don’t include an image with your resume. Employers shouldn’t need to know what you look like to decide whether they want to meet with you to determine whether you would be a good fit for a position.

Now that you know what to leave off while writing your resume, you can start to craft one that shows a potential employer what a great candidate you are for the position you want.

Leslie Anglesey works as an educator at the University of Southern California and an editor at essay writing service. You may contact her via email les.anglesey@gmail.com.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

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