6 Things That Should Never Be On Your Resume

A few articles ago, I mentioned the importance of an honest resume. Unfortunately, there’s a subset of society that takes takes everything to extremes. You know the type. If you tell them meat is bad, they’ll strip naked and pour pig’s blood all over KFC. If you tell them gambling sucks, they’ll set a casino on fire. And if you tell them “be honest on your resume”, they’ll write a tell-all expose including the number of times they’ve peed in a public pool. This article is for their benefit. It’s about what you don’t need to have on your resume:


Person consulted on his resume

"Oh, that resume WAS in English? I couldn't tell!"


1. Unnecessary Ideological Information 

Leave out your religious or political views. In fact, mentioning either puts the hirer in a tough spot. Especially if the company is American.

American companies are subject to American labour law, even when operating in Singapore. They have strict anti-discrimination policies. So when you bring up such issues, the hiring manager starts to squirm. Suddenly, interviewing you seems as comfortable as telling gay jokes on the nine o’clock news.

Also, if the hirer interviews and rejects you, are you going to accuse them of doing it because you’re Jewish / Catholic / watch Michael Moore popumentaries? They’re not taking that chance.

The same goes for local companies. Singaporean employers don’t care about your beliefs, as long as they’re far away from work. Like, say, in a separate solar system. Include a strong statement of your beliefs, and the hirer will develop an equally strong aversion to your phone number.


Protest rally

"In future, our job ads won't use the word 'revolution'. Now clear out the waiting room."


2. Tales of Your Exciting Student Years

If it happened before you were 16, think before putting it on your resume. It had better be on par with “At 14, I taught myself French with nothing but a dictionary and a DVD of Vivre Pour Vivre.”

If you’re fresh out of school and never had a job, it’s excusable. But if you’ve been working more than three years, mentioning your boy scout merits is just pathetic. The hirer will assume you have no serious accomplishments, and that your best years ended after winning a smiley face in the Primary School science fair.

Besides, most hirers gloss over such details. As if they can be bothered calling your old principal to check.


Vandalized building

"I started my, uh, art career pretty young."


3. How Much Money You Want

A good salesman doesn’t open with the price. You want the hirer to be all psyched up, before you start talking dollars.

If you make it to the interview, you can at least negotiate. But if you give your quote early, your resume might go straight to the trashcan. Hirers have a fixed budget in mind, and since you don’t know what that is, you need to approach it like Channel 8 approaches a drama plot: With slow, blind groping.

Try to hold off on salary discussions until you’re asked. If you must indicate your price, give a range. For example, from $3000 to $4000 a month. Most hirers will pick something in the middle. A better idea is to describe your expected pay without numbers. You could expect “entry level pay”, for example.


Money Shirt

"I'll dress in a way that suggests my worth."


4. Confidential Information From Your Previous Job

Never betray your former employer’s confidence. Don’t mention their trade secrets, inside dealings, or work processes.

Otherwise, under “known conditions” your hirer is going to write “a big mouth”. Which, as far as they’re concerned, is incurable. This is a trust issue: Revealing confidential information suggests you lack integrity. What’s to say that, if they hire you, their multi-million dollar research won’t end up on Gizmodo’s front page?

Besides, think of the legal ramifications. Do you know what happens if your former employer finds out? You may as well scrawl “sue me” on your cover letter.


Guy in mask

"All the information is on my resume. I suggest you read it some place without windows."


5. Corporate Speak

It’s great that you improved efficiency in your old workplace. It’s not so great when you describe it as “re-contextualizing a saturated praxis”.

If your resume reads like an $80 management textbook, maybe you ought to go write one instead. Because you won’t be getting that job. Hirers get suspicious of people who use corporate speak; it suggests you’re pretentious and obscure. At the very least, you might be an ivory tower graduate, with less connection to reality than Comfort’s taxi fares.

A bit of corporate jargon is fine, but your resume shouldn’t make the hirer frown and ask: “Are these all real words?”


Board meeting

"Excuse us, we need a quick board meeting to decipher what your resume means."


6. Any Pictures Other Than Your Head Shot

Actually, you don’t even need a head shot these days. The only companies that want a lot of pictures are modelling agencies, retail outlets, and types of businesses I’m not allowed to discuss here.

Including a full body picture of yourself, or a range of pictures, is tacky. Like you copy-pasted your Facebook page on their screen. Besides, think of how the hirer feels: If the only six-pack you have is in your fridge, it’s merely embarrassing. If you’re certifiably hot, they’ll be accused of hiring you for your appearance. That’s not a spot you want to place anyone in.

Save the pictures for when they’re requested.


Mugshot from prison

Dear Sir, I hope you won't mind my using an old photo…


Image Credits:
Gangplank HQ, madcowk, borkur.net, RBerteig, Anonymous9000, alexdecavalho, CharlotWest

What are some things you’ve learned to take off your resume? Comment and let us know!

Get more Personal Finance tips and tricks on www.MoneySmart.sg

Click to Compare Singapore Home Loans, Car Insurance and Credit Cards on our other sites.

More From MoneySmart

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Developers prepare for new rules and regulations
    Developers prepare for new rules and regulations

    Known as the "Subdivision and Condominium Buyers' Protective Decree," Presidential Decree No. 957 issued two sets of revised implementing rules and regulations (IRRs) earlier in 2015. A bill initiated by former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1976, the decree and its most recent amendments were designed to "protect buyers from fraudulent and unscrupulous subdivision and condominium sellers, operators and developers," according to the explanatory note that accompanied the bill in its senate …

  • Tsunami warning after Papua New Guinea hit by 7.5 quake
    Tsunami warning after Papua New Guinea hit by 7.5 quake

    A 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea on Monday, US seismologists said, with "hazardous" tsunami waves possible in areas near the epicentre although no major damage was immediately reported. The quake hit at a depth of 33 kilometres (20 miles), some 55 kilometres from the nearest city of Kokopo on New Britain island and 787 kilometres from the capital Port Moresby, the United States Geological Survey said. "Based on all available data... hazardous tsunami waves …

  • ‘Get SAF 44 killers before BBL passage’
    ‘Get SAF 44 killers before BBL passage’

    Lawmakers are demanding the arrest of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters involved in the killing of 44 policemen in Mamasapano before the approval of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in Congress. Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chairman of the 75-member ad hoc committee in the House of Representatives deliberating on the BBL, prodded the Department of Justice (DOJ) to speed up its investigation and file charges against the MILF guerrillas as the Aquino administration …

  • Pinoys dance for Earth Hour
    Pinoys dance for Earth Hour

    The Philippines once again displayed its support Saturday night for the worldwide observance of Earth Hour by hosting a dance party after turning the lights off from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. to save energy and make a statement on various environmental issues. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said widespread participation proved anew that no individual action on climate change is too small and that no collective vision is too big with celebrations in over 7,000 hubs in 170 countries. The WWF said …

  • Phl offers Sabah to win Malaysia’s support for UN case vs China
    Phl offers Sabah to win Malaysia’s support for UN case vs China

    The Philippines has offered to downgrade its claim on Sabah in exchange for Malaysia’s support for its case against China before the United Nations. The quid pro quo was contained in a note verbale the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) handed to a representative of the Malaysian embassy last week, a week after the visit of Malaysian Defense Minister Dato  Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein. The note verbale, a copy of which was obtained by VERA Files, referred to the May 6, 2009 joint submission …

  • Maysak to enter Phl Wednesday
    Maysak to enter Phl Wednesday

    A typhoon with international name Maysak is expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Wednesday and bring rains over Northern Luzon by weekend, the state weather bureau said yesterday. Aldczar Aurelio, weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said the typhoon was 2,810 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 10 a.m. yesterday. “This typhoon is still too far to affect any part of the country,” the weather …

  • Nonviolent disciplining of kids pushed

    Child rights advocates called on senators to pass and strongly endorse a law that will institutionalize positive and nonviolent methods of disciplining children.The Child Rights Network (CRN), Plan International Philippines (PIP), Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLPCD), and Lihok Pilipinas Foundation led the call for the enactment of the Positive Discipline Bill.Several Quezon City Council members led by Majority Floor Leader Jesus Manuel Suntay, Victor Ferrer …

  • Method to their madness

    [caption id="attachment_256768" align="alignright" width="212"] Illustration by Rod Cañalita[/caption] EMMANUEL PORTUGAL Country Manager for the Philippines, VMware I look after the garden. I’d like to think that I have a green thumb—no plants have died so far! The ones I like now that I planted a few months ago is the Blue Iris. Like the town in the movie, my Blue Iris shows up in the morning and only appears for one day. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options