An article entitled “25 Things You Should Never Include on a Resume” published a few days ago over on HR World’s blog made me chuckle. Not because most of the items on the list seemed so unbelievably obvious and stupid for a job candidate to include in a resume, but because of the fact that I have actually seen most of them at one time or another in the thousands of executive resumes I have reviewed over the years. I notice that HR World’s blog writers took some flack in a few of the comments on that blog entry because of the common sense nature of their advice. It’s unfortunate, but I think that most of the “don’ts” mentioned seem to somehow escape the “common sense radar” of a fair number of folks out there.
About the only category I would disagree on is hobbies. Certainly you do not want to clutter your resume with irrelevant or frivolous interests. But many a door has been opened and many an interview set on the right track, prompted by the interviewer’s noticing that the candidate has a similar interest to theirs (for example, avid amateur golfer) or particularly unusual or outstanding hobby or skill that is a good conversation starter (such as climbing Mt. Everest, circumnavigating the globe in your own sailboat, competing and placing in triathalon events, etc.).
The only one out of the 25 that I cannot recall having seen in a resume is blatant expression of a prejudice. So, while the items on this list may be obvious to most, clearly there are some folks out there who would do well to pay them heed. You can view the full list at HR World.