A picture of a laptop computer with a resume printed out

Applying for a new job can be a very intimidating experience for many candidates. Each applicant is vying with numerous candidates for one particular position. To rise above the many applicants and land on that interview shortlist, a job seeker needs to present a first-rate resume. 

While there are many guides, articles and reference materials about crafting the perfect resume, they often focus on the information to include in the finished document. Other times they concentrate on formatting and resume styles. Very rarely do these guides focus on the type of information that should not be included in a resume. 

It’s true that a resume should be an excellent introduction to each candidate that succinctly summarizes their professional experience and skills in a meaningful and engaging way. Resumes that command the attention of hiring managers often result in phone screeners and interviews.  

However, in order to accomplish this goal, the resume must be free of clutter, mistakes and any information that is problematic. In the following article, we’ll focus on five things that should not be included on a resume.  

Irrelevant Work Experience 

Candidates want to prove that they have the experience, knowledge and skills to perform the job they are applying for. The work experience or work history section is the portion of the resume where this proof is presented. 

Although candidates may be compelled to list their entire work history, it’s unnecessary. While some candidates may want to impress hiring managers with a robust job history that includes every position they have held, this practice will have the opposite effect. Hiring managers are interested in proof that an applicant has the required skills and experience. Making them search for that proof in a lengthy work history may disqualify that resume from consideration. 

To best highlight these required qualifications, candidates need to remove any irrelevant work experience from their resume. List only the positions that are either directly related to the position or feature attributes that are related to those listed in the job description. To give the hiring manager a greater understanding of work history, qualifications and experience, candidates should include a hyperlink to their LinkedIn profile. 

Personal and Private Information 

Professional hiring managers should never make interview considerations or employment decisions based on a candidate’s personal information. That’s why it’s best not to include any personal information. 

Resumes should be strictly professional. Information regarding age, height, weight, political or religious affiliations, social security numbers and other facts about the candidate should not be included in a resume. Keeping resumes free of personal information curbs any potential bias on the employers’ part, keeps the document free of clutter, and provides greater security for the individual (since resumes are often emailed or uploaded to job search platforms and servers).  

Poor Grammar and Typos 

Nothing ruins a candidate’s credibility quite like poor grammar and typos. Case in point: A  candidate lists “excellent attention to detail” as a professional attribute but misspells that phrase.  

In order for them to be effective, resumes need to be clear, concise, errorless and readable. Candidates should always proofread their resumes to correct grammar, spelling, punctuation and typos before emailing or uploading the document. Helpful hint: Having a second person proofread a resume is a great way to ensure its quality. 


Much like including irrelevant information on a resume obscures the more pertinent information, listing hobbies can have the same negative effect. Candidates who would like to include information about their post-work activities to present a more well-rounded picture of themselves, should do so in their interview.  

Remember: Resumes are a professional introduction to the hiring manager. Interviews are the opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their professional background in greater detail and spotlight their personality. 


Though the idea of slightly embellishing professional qualifications on a resume seems harmless, it is anything but. Never, under any circumstances, lie on a resume. Many hiring managers can spot a lie immediately and will disqualify a candidate. If the embellishment is less noticeable, the lie will be revealed during the interview or background screening process. Lies not only waste the hiring manager’s time and employer’s resources, it also ruins a candidate’s credibility. 

Keeping a resume free of these five factors increases the opportunity for candidate consideration. Choosing MSB Resources to help you find the best opportunities available, is also a great way to open new doors.

Contact us today to learn more about new opportunities!