What to Leave Off Your Resume


Say you have started working on your resume. You know the basics of what to include, but you want to stand out! There are plenty of ways to stand out among a competitive list of applicants, but you do not want to stand out for the wrong reasons and miss a fantastic job opportunity.  

Recently on the Green Key Resources blog, we outlined what you should include on your resume and the best ways to highlight your skills so you can match the job of your dreams. Before you hit apply, be sure to review your resume and remove these 6 things from your resume. 

1 – Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors 

Double or triple-check your resume for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Read it aloud and have another person read it for mistakes. Utilize spell-check and review grammar rules for resume writing to ensure your resume is on point. You do not want to lose a shot at an interview because of a simple mistake. 

2 – Inaccuracies about your experience or skills 

Never lie on your resume. False claims on your resume would be humiliating if discovered and may lead to termination or a lawsuit. Make sure you can back up all of the skills, experience, and projects you include on your resume. 

3 – Irrelevant hobbies, interests, and experience 

Make sure your resume only contains the most relevant information that a recruiter or hiring manager should know about you when considering you for a position.  

Consider removing: 

  • Old jobs 
    • Work experience that is older than 10-15 years can be left off your resume to make room for more current and relevant experience. 
  • High school information 
    • If you have a degree above a high school diploma or GED, you do not need to include your high school education on your resume. 
  • Non-related job experience 
    • Unless you are switching careers or you are at the start of your career and want to show general working experience, leave off the work experience that does not directly relate to the job to which you are applying.  
  • Hobbies and interests 
    • Your interview is the time recruiters and hiring managers can get to know you on a more personal level, so you do not need to include personal details that would be good topics of conversation during your interview. 
  • Internships 
    • If you have been in the corporate world long enough to have sufficient professional experience, you can leave off even relevant internships to make space for more impactful work experience.  

Remember: your resume is important real estate. All the content of your resume should inform the reader of why you are a viable candidate for that role. Only the most relevant information should be on it. 

4 – A professional headshot 

Your photo reveals a lot about you – your nationality, gender, age, among other things that could inadvertently lead to discrimination. In fact, anti-discrimination laws prevent most states from requiring a photo on resumes or applications.  

Outside of the United States, it is standard practice to include a professional photo on your resume. In the US, however, this is not a typical practice, nor is it required. It is better to leave a photo off your resume. Let your qualifications and experience be the focus. 

5 – Long paragraphs or large blocks of text 

Your resume should give a quick, accurate picture of your experience and skills. Avoid cluttering your resume with unnecessary information and large blocks of text that might make it difficult for employers to find the most relevant elements of your experience and background.  

A resume should be easy to read. If a hiring manager or recruiter cannot quickly skim your resume and get the information they need; you may be out of the running for a role. Use bullet points and create precise, action-focused sentences that highlight your skills and the results of your work. A simplified and tailored resume is an impactful resume. 

6 – Flowery language and company-specific jargon 

When creating your resume, avoid using flowery language. Words like “really” and “excellent” do not add much substance to your resume. When possible, use data to illustrate your point. Remove low-impact adjectives and adverbs so you can utilize the real estate on your resume for a skill or experience that will have more impact.  

Review your resume to ensure you have not included any company-specific jargon, abbreviations, or acronyms that someone outside of the company would not understand. 

Including industry-specific jargon on your resume is acceptable, especially if you are applying for a job within the same industry. In fact, utilizing industry jargon can often show your understanding of the industry. Additionally, these industry keywords are often used by keyword matching programs in resume parsers that many recruiting firms and large corporations use to find candidates that match their job openings. 


The main thing to understand about your resume is that it should be an accurate representation of your skills and experience that is easy to digest in a short amount of time. If you’re looking for more career and job search guidance, be sure to reach out to our recruiting teams on our website or on LinkedIn

Now that you’ve got a great resume, check out the list of Green Key Resources’ jobs we’re hiring for now and submit your new resume to apply! 

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