The Dangers of Resume Overkill
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.