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  Ever wondered why the companies you applied for a position don’t call you back after submitting your résumé? Sometimes, you believe you’re qualified for the position you applied for, but all seems not to be going your way. Well, according to many hiring managers, your résumé is the first impression you give to a company and it says a lot about you.
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Studies show that it takes only 6 seconds for a hiring manager to decide whether your résumé goes to the trash can or possibility pile. Only 6 seconds to scan and decide! There are over 200 people applying for a single position, and the competition is rife. So, in this article, I’m going to tell you 12 things to never put on a résumé.
  1. Personal Info

This is outdated. Listing your marital status, age, hobbies, ethnic group, religious affiliation, spouse’s name and job, the number of children is so unnecessary and unprofessional. So cut that out. No one cares. Don’t waste up space. All a hiring manager wants is to see your achievements. People could use personal information against you.
  1. A Photograph of Yourself

Except you’re applying for the role of a model or an actor, it’s advisable not to put a photograph of yourself. Your résumé should reflect your skills and achievement. A photograph can also open you up to discrimination on the basis of colour, race, looks, and gender.
  1. Personal Pronouns

Avoid using personal pronouns like “I,” “me,” “she,” “he,” or “my.” These are what we call the first or third person. You’re not writing a composition about yourself.
  1. Irrelevant Work Experience

If you’re aren’t a fresh graduate, this rule applies to you. Hiring managers are only interested in work experiences, skills and achievements that are related to the position you’re applying for. So, you don’t list all your work experiences, especially irrelevant ones like, for example, the waiting jobs you did during your summer holidays as a student. This can be useful if you’re a fresh graduate with very little experience.
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  1. An Unprofessional E-mail Address

An email address tells a lot about you if you’re mature or not. Avoid adding silly-looking emails like, This kind of e-mail can give you out as an unserious person. Use a nice, mature, and professional email address. For example, you can use your name and surname as your email address: Using your name can keep your email from getting lost in the hiring manager’s inbox.
  1. Do Not Lie

Don’t lie. This is a general rule for life. Don’t exaggerate your achievements or make false claims. Your HR or someone else might investigate, and trust me it won’t end well.
  1. An Objective

This used to be considered an important part of the résumé, but today it’s irrelevant. Your objective is to get the job. Use this space to list your work experience, skills and achievements.
  1. References

It’s advisable when writing your résumé, do not add any referees until they’re aware you want them to be your referees. Also, do not add the name of your current employer, except he or she is supporting your career change. Simply put at the section for reference: “references available upon request”.
  1. Salary Information

This can be a major turnoff for hiring managers due to several reasons. You put yourself at the risk of being undervalued or overpriced which can cost you missing out on landing a job. The goal is to get the job, and salary can be discussed afterwards.
  1. Spelling Errors Or Bad Grammar

This sends a whole lot of messages to a hiring manager that you’re incompetent, you can’t pay attention to details, and you aren’t observant or smart enough to make mistakes in your résumé. No one would want to take the risk of employing someone who can’t even fix his own résumé. It’s advisable to proofread repeatedly and employ someone smarter to help out, too.


A clean, easy-to-scan resume is the key to landing a job opportunity. Don’t clutter up your résumé with a bunch of unnecessary information.  Keep it clean, legible, and no more than 2 pages in length.  Use a modern sans serif font like Arial or Helvetica and keep the formatting consistent at all times.  Use the past tense except for your current job. Featured Image Source: Resume Resource
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This article was first published on 18th August 2021


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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