We often get asked what shouldn’t I put in my resume and why? Here are some things that you probably have on your resume but probably shouldn’t.


  1. Referees – Many people prefer to have referees on their resumes because for them it is convenient to “put it all out there”. The reason we don’t include referees on our resumes is as follows. Your referees have been generous enough to give you their personal contact information so with this in mind if you apply for jobs online, not only is your resume uploaded but also all the personal information of all your referees. To keep your referees information confidential, we suggest a separate printed sheet of paper with your referees contact details to be handed over to the employer/recruiter during the interview process. That way your referee’s personal information is handed directly to the person responsible for potentially hiring you and not shuffled from one office tray to another being viewed by many, thus insuring your referee’s confidentiality.

  1. Long resumes – There is the old saying that “Less is more” and with resumes this definitely applies. Bearing in mind that a recruiter only gets between 6 – 9 seconds to scan a resume your resume needs to be reasonably short and to the point, generally speaking no more than 2 pages, however, there is always exceptions to this rule, but generally, rule of thumb is not more than 2. If your resume looks like a soft cover novel, chances are it is way too long.

  1. Phrases starting with “I”. Now this is a common mistake that is used in resumes every day. “I did this, I did that” does not allow you to showcase yourself in a positive light and can leave the recruiter underwhelmed and yawning, reaching for a double espresso and a packet of No-Doz to stay awake. Instead of boring your recruiter to death, use this opportunity to engage the reader by using action words, accomplishment statements, and skills. Rather than using “I” for example, use words such as “Analysed”, “Created” “Mastered”.

Content: Mercedes Wilson (The Resume Creative)