The word ‘resume’ is derived from the French – meaning “summary”. While there is no specific date or any one person who can be credited with the creation (or use of the word), varying sources claim heads of guilds, in the Middle Ages, began using the word ‘resume’. On the other hand, others credit artist Leonardo De Vinci.
Technically a resume is a document which professionally presents – summarizes – your skills, experience and background. And, interestingly, they can be used for a variety of reasons. However, these are mainly used to secure a job – to secure new employment.
Typically a resume lays out your relevant experience. For example – companies for whom you worked, dates on which you worked for them. And you provide a brief description of what your job entailed. Plus your resume includes your education info and any certifications you possess.
Your résumé is usually one of the first items, along with a cover letter and sometimes an application for employment, which a potential employer sees when you are seeking a new job.
That said, you want it to provide good, solid information to help a hiring pro, interviewer, decision maker or company representative make a decision to contact you regarding a job you want or have applied for because you are the best person for the job.
On the other hand…
While you want to present all the valuable information about your skills, expertise and background, to show the individual reading it you are the best person for the job, it’s also important to avoid introducing information considered negative.
Information which should only be discussed during an interview. And, more accurately, at a second interview when discussing a job offer.
5 items you should never add to your resume if you seriously want to be considered for a job:
#1 Never mention money. Whether it’s past salary received, or present expectations, the subject of money should never be spoken about on a This should always be discussed at an interview. According to UndercoverRecruiter.com –
In general, you should NOT include salary information on your resume. Sometimes your prospective employers may ask for your salary requirements or salary history, but unless there is a penalty for omission, such as your resume will be rejected, do not include the information”.
Mentioning a previous salary can either have a hiring pro eliminating you since it’s too high, or offering you only the amount stated when you deserve more or they might be willing to pay you far more.
#2 Don’t include references
While it seems as if adding references would be the right step to take, in effect you could be lowering your chances of getting an interview if the company decides to call your references before calling you. Not only that, perhaps you haven’t yet contacted these references to get their OK to use them. If that’s the case, that reference scenario may go poorly for you.
#3 Never lie about or enhance your work.
This is the fastest way to get dropped from consideration. Today companies are doing a variety of searches before interviews are set. Today many even have an investigator on retainer to probe into your personal and work-life. Perhaps even calling a past employer to quiz them about what type of job you performed – which is legally allowed. Regardless – this is the worst mistake you can make. Do it, and you’ve lost the job.
#4 Never bad-mouth a past employer.
Aside from lying or misrepresenting facts about your experience, speaking negatively about a past employer is equally as bad. Not only is this the ultimate in unprofessional, the person reading your resume may get the immediate impression you may speak about them, or their company, similarly. Regardless how difficult or bad working there was – DON’T GO THERE. Before an interview try to find one or several areas in which they exceed to discuss with the interviewer.
#5 Never list personal, or what could be considered intimate, facts about
For example – don’t share info about your religion, your sex or sexual orientation, height, weight, size, age, marital status or lack thereof. Don’t speak about your children, political or family connections. Unless you belong to a variety of groups associated with your industry, or volunteer with a community non-profit group, don’t mention public groups.
None of this information will help you get the job. Remember – the person reading your resume may have issues with something you’ve stated, a group or political party you belong to. Don’t allow someone else’s personal opinion to get in the way of you getting a job offer.
Do not add in anything that’s irrelevant. Your resume is a professional representation of your skills, experience and background. Adding anything which doesn’t directly relate to those areas, depending upon the irrelevant info stated, it could create questions and issues you won’t recover from – even if you get to the interview stage. Include only what’s necessary to present you in a professional, skilled way which shows you as the only person for the job.
Submitted by: Jean L. Serio CEIC, CDI, CPC, CeMA
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