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Career Coaching Tips On What To NOT Include In Your Resume

Cecile Peterkin -- Writing a resume seems like a simple thing to do, but many job seekers still make some huge mistakes that can cost them the job they want. The most common mistakes include putting down things that employers don’t need--and don’t want--to know.

Your resume is a vital aspect of your job search-–there is no way you can get hired without submitting a well-written resume. Not only does your resume serve as a record of all your career achievements, it is also used by potential employers as a basis to know what you can do for them or what value you may bring to the organization.

Writing a resume seems like a simple thing to do, but many job seekers still make some huge mistakes that are likely to cost them the job they want. One of the most common mistakes you can make in writing your resume is to put down things that employers don’t need to know and don’t want to know.

Below are the things you are not supposed to include in your resume:

Gaps in your work history

The truth is, even the most qualified candidates may have periods in their resume when they were unemployed. While there are plenty of reasons why you may have been unemployed for a certain period of time, you don’t want this to turn off potential employers.

Employers generally want to know what you have been doing for the past couple of years. If there is a gap in your resume, this is perfectly fine, but you may need to add a bit of context. For instance, you could note that you had to care for an ill family member, or perhaps you chose to travel during that time. This way, it won’t seem to the hiring manager that you just chose to be jobless for some time.

Social media links

A lot of job seekers intentionally include in their resume a link to their Instagram or Facebook profile. They do this to allow employers to get to know them better. What they don’t know is that employers or hiring managers do not have any interest at all in their social media accounts. It is safe to say also that the best social media link you can put in your resume is that of your LinkedIn profile.

A photo of you

Although it is acceptable in some cultures to include a photo in a resume, quite the opposite actually happens in many other countries. Particularly in Western countries, companies are very careful not to discriminate, so they really prefer receiving resumes that have no photos of applicants on them.

False information

It is tempting to forge some details in your resume because doing so might make you look more impressive to hiring managers. However, before you do so, realize that it can cause you a lot of trouble in the future. During your interview, you might not be able to explain work experiences that you don’t actually have. You also don’t want your potential employer to contact a reference who can't back you up. Once the employer finds out that you lied in your resume, you can kiss your chances of getting the job goodbye.


When it comes to writing your resume, remember that not everything about you should be there. Should you need help composing an effective resume or advice on how to conduct your job search, taking part in a career coaching program is a worthy investment.

Cecile Peterkin is a certified career and retirement coach, and a registered member of the Career Professionals of Canada and the International Coach Federation. She is also the Founder and Senior Career Strategist at Cosmic Coaching Center, provider of career and life management services for middle managers and mid-career professionals across Canada, United States and Europe.

© 2016 Cecile Peterkin

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