Three things not to have on your resume

Category: Career Resources

We all know what should appear on a resume: your skills, experience, employment history, accomplishments, and honors. But what are some of the things you shouldn’t include? When crafting or updating your resume, it is important to remember that items that should not appear on your resume are just as important as the things you must include. These items can often serve as unnecessary roadblocks or, even worse, cause you to be overlooked for a position.

Want to make your resume stronger and more effective? Don’t include these three things:

Your First Job

As you progress in your career and change jobs, it is not necessary to painstakingly detail your first one or two jobs. This does not mean that you do not include these positions on your resume; you should. All that is needed, though, are a few well-crafted lines or bullet points about these positions.


It is great to have hobbies. It shows that you know how to indulge in some work-life balance. But you do not need to include what you do for fun on your resume. You never know who might dislike or be offended by one of your hobbies or volunteer activities.


If you have completed the coursework within a doctoral program, but never finished the dissertation, do not list the degree on the resume. This often demonstrates a lack of perseverance and is not received well by search committees. If you are currently in a program, it is fine to include your anticipated graduation date.

And Now a Few Safety Tips

  • Do not include your personal address on your resume.
  • You should use your personal email, not your institutional email address. Make sure that you regularly check the address that you use.
  • Do not include any pictures of yourself on your resume.


Heather Larabee

Search Associate - Spelman Johnson

Heather Larabee earned her BS in marketing from the University of West Florida, her MEd from the University of Florida and her doctor of education in educational leadership from the University of Southern California. Heather has most recently served as assistant dean of students and director of campus activities in the division of student affairs at the University of Southern California. Prior to this, she served as the assistant director for cultural arts and activities. Heather came to the University of Southern California from Francis Marion University where she served as the director of student life in the division of student affairs. She also held the position of program coordinator in the division of student affairs at the University of Tennessee. Heather has published several articles and has been a presenter at the National Association for Campus Activities, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and the Association of College Unions International national conferences.