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What Not to Include in Your Resume

You've probably read tons of advice and recommendations on the design and information you should include in your professional resume, but has anyone ever outlined the information that should not appear in an effective summary of expertise and experience?

Here are some resume 'don'ts' for you to consider.

Irrelevant Information
You should know and understand your "target audience" to create an effective resume. With ten seconds or less to motivate a reader to finish evaluating a resume, you should eliminate all irrelevant information that means little to your audience.

Highlight the qualities and expertise your audience wants to know about. You should design your resume to address exactly what the organization is looking for. Other expertise, regardless of its level and value, may be skills in which your audience is not interested. You should probably avoid wonderful achievements from over ten years ago, since their current relevance may be deemed useless to your audience for their specific needs.

Too Much Contact Information
Make it as easy as possible for interested parties to contact you. Don't include your office number, home number, cell number, sister's number and mother's number to give prospective employers multiple options to call you. Display just one number, probably your cell phone for ease of contact, or home number.

Also, don’t display five different email addresses. Why not create a separate email location just for your job search prospects? Consider using just your first and last name as the address, making it easy and simple for employers to respond.

Effective "Objective" Statements
Many, from new employees to experienced C-level executives, tend to make a mistake when it comes to this common resume component. You shouldn't state what you want in this statement, but instead display how you will help and contribute to the company.

Use pertinent keywords to increase the volume of key word search "hits" for your resume. Since this component appears at the top of your resume, make it hard hitting, interesting and targeted at your audience. This helps attract the reader in the under-ten second time frame available to you. Entice the reader to finish evaluating your resume with interest and a desire to learn more.

Remember, the only purpose of your resume is to help generate a request for an interview.

Avoid Tired, Boring Phrases
A common complaint of HR managers and hiring professionals is the frequent use of worn out, static phrasing in resumes from all levels of candidates.

Use high-activity, action words. Consider the words "innovated", "directed", "achieved", "synergized", "generated" and other action verbs that serve to reinforce your brand focus. Boring, worn out, tired and clichéd phrases will only detract from your objective.

Focus on motivating the reader to email or phone you—at your one address or number—to have a meaningful chat, hopefully leading to an interview invitation. Eliminate all unnecessary and counter productive words, phrases and statements.