Don’t Talk About Weight Loss on Your Resume

Posted by Rob Riggins

Weight LossWe see a lot of resumes. That means we see some really interesting stuff on resumes.

The most recent one that caught our eye was a paragraph on how the job seeker had lost weight, along with specifics on his current body fat percentage. Maybe this job seeker thinks it’s relevant and meaningful information for a potential IT employer. Or maybe he thinks it shows self-discipline. Or maybe he’s just bragging.

By now most job seekers know to leave off their resume things such as their social security number, marital status, children, and pictures. While it’s less frequent, it’s still not uncommon to see these bits of data on a resume.

But there’s more info that’s still regularly found on resumes that really doesn’t belong there. This extra information muddies the water. It makes it harder for recruiters and hiring managers to find the key information they need to decide whether or not they will call you in for an interview. You want a resume that is clear and specific about the job you are targeting, and how you meet the job requirements. Delete these items from your resume and you’ll be moving toward that goal:

Irrelevant Training Courses. This is most commonly found with transitioning military, but we see it with other cleared job seekers as well. Any training that you include on your resume should be relevant to your profession, the position you’re applying for, and no more than 5-7 years old. Less if it’s technical and out-of-date.

You may think that extra training shows that you have a curious mind, but recruiters and hiring managers are scanning many resumes very quickly. The less unrelated info you have on your resume, the better. Keep focused.

Military Medals. These are often best left to a LinkedIn profile where you can explain what they mean. Most civilians don’t understand military medals any more than they understand military lingo. The ones that do count are decorations — Achievement Medal up to Medal of Honor — not your Service or Campaign Medals.

Your College GPA. You may be very proud of your GPA and struggling with the associated debt. But it’s really only relevant for a year or two out of college.

Extra phone numbers and email addresses. Don’t clutter your resume. Keep it simple. Use one phone number and one email address.

Your Street Address. A recruiter doesn’t need your street address up front. Many job seekers are now leaving off their city and state as well, although this does irk some recruiters who really want to know your geography.

Headers and Footers. Headers and footers such as “Jane Doe Resume Page Two” often get garbled in Applicant Tracking Systems. You’re keeping your resume to a crisp two pages anyway, aren’t you? And keep your resume as simple as possible graphically. Avoid using images, multiple colors, boxes or excessive bolding or underlining. All of these can cause issues with applicant tracking systems.

Third person usage. We still see many, many cleared job seekers using resumes that were plucked from a proposal, referring to themselves in the 3rd person. This makes you appear out of touch and disorganized to anyone who reads your resume.

References. Don’t include them and don’t say “available on request.” You’re stating the obvious and taking up precious space you could be using to share more of your accomplishments.

Responsibilities. Focus on what you accomplish with your responsibilities, not just what you did. We all have responsibilities, but what recruiters and hiring managers want to hear about are what you accomplished with the responsibilities you were given. Read more here:

Objective statements. You need a short relevant summary that focuses on skills that meet the needs of the employer. Read more here:

Irrelevant work experience. You really need to write your resume to the position you are applying for. For example if you have Logistics experience and HR experience, when listing your HR experience try to create accomplishment statements that are relevant to working in the Logistics field.

More than 10-15 years of experience. Unless the position you’re applying for is very senior or calls for 20-year of experience, keep the bulk of your resume to the last 10-15 years’ experience, and focus on what parts of that experience are relevant to the position you’re applying for.

A focused and targeted resume, without extra gunk, turns your resume into a much more powerful ad to sell your skills to a prospective employer. And that’s what your resume is for.


This entry was posted on Friday, August 19, 2016 5:35 pm

One thought on “Don’t Talk About Weight Loss on Your Resume”

  1. Depends: family means estability, if you are beautiful woman or a man in great shape a picture might send a psychological or subliminal message that you are “fit” and attractive, you look intelligent, a home address means you are not a flying bird….the thing is review and investigate the potential employee and THEN decide if you should include those or not….

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