The Dangers of Resume Overkill

The Dangers of Resume Overkill

Jeff Gipson | August 24, 2015

Virtually everything published about resume design focuses on what you should put in. But let’s look at what should be left out, or at least reduced.
Item #1: Salary background or salary specifications.
I’ve never heard one helpful reason to point out your past, current, or expected salary. If you see a classified ad that says, “Only resumes with salary history will be considered,” don’t believe it. If your resume is solid enough, you’ll be contacted. Once contacted, be honest.
Item #2: References.
If you have high-impact or well known professional references, fine. Otherwise, “References: Available Upon Request” will do excellent. Avoid personal references like your minister or your attorney, unless they happen to be Billy Graham or Sandra Day O’Connor.
Item #3: Redundant materials.
When submitting a resume, avoid incorporating such items as your thesis, photos, diplomas, transcripts, product samples, newspaper articles, blueprints, designs, or letters of recommendation. These are props you can use throughout your interview, but not before. The only thing other than your resume that’s acceptable is your business card.
Item #4: Personal information.
Leave out everything other than the absolute necessities such as, “Married, two children, willing to relocate, excellent overall health.” By listing your Masonic affiliation, save-the-whales activism or codependency support group, you could give the employer a reason to suspect that your outside activities may interfere with your work.
Not long ago, I received a resume from a candidate who felt the need to put his bowling average on his curriculum vita. The person must have thought that kind of information might improve his chances of being interviewed. Provided the , would I show his resume to an employer? Not a chance.
Keep in mind, the greater the significance between your resume and the needs of the employer, the more genuinely your candidacy will be considered. Say what you need to get the job—and nothing more.

About the Author

Jeff Gipson
Jeff Gipson Sr. is a veteran of the staffing industry, with more than 30 years of experience. He got his start working for an international staffing organization where he focused on information technology placements across the country. In July 1992, Jeff continued his staffing career with a St. Louis based information technology staffing company. There, he was strategically involved in launching the organization’s first branch office — and subsequently three additional branch offices over the next several years. In July 2000 Jeff made another move — this time to launch his own staffing company, continuing his IT focus. In 2003 the organization was reinvented. Relying on his earlier sales career in the insurance industry, the company changed course and began building the firm around the insurance industry. The company continues to put all their energy in the insurance sector filling positions of all titles across the country. Jeff and his wife Carolyn have been married since 1980. They have three children and seven grandchildren.
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