When you create or update your IT resume, there are some things that should go on it, and a few things that you shouldn’t put on it. I’ve listed ten different things that should not go on your IT resume in this article.
1. Your Photo
Photos are not needed on resumes. While it might seem like a good idea to add a photo, so that people know what you look like and can see how professional you look, it’s not a good thing to do. It can leave you open to discrimination by the employer, which can be either negative or positive.
Employers can also feel uncomfortable with it, as they think you might feel the acceptance or rejection of an IT resume is based on the photo. It’s not a situation that recruiters like to be in, so I would suggest removing the photo.
2. Old Programming Languages
Programming languages have been around for a while. They evolve, new languages get created, and new technologies come with them.
If you’ve been in the industry for some time, you might have a long list of programming languages that you know and that are familiar with. Some of them might not even be used that widely anymore!
These are the languages that don’t need to go on your resume – the old ones. If they’re not that widely used, or if you haven’t used them in some time, then you should remove them from your resume. While it might be good to add every language to show your knowledge and ability to learn many languages, only showing the ones that are current and relevant is really needed.
3. Languages You Aren’t Proficient In
Another point related to programming languages is related to the languages that you know but aren’t very knowledgeable or proficient in. If you know a language, but it’s only enough to recognise it or the very basics, then you shouldn’t put that on your resume. This is because employers only really need to know the languages that you can apply on the job, so they know what your capabilities are. If you’re adding languages that you aren’t fully capable with, it makes it hard for both of you.
How do you know which ones to keep and which ones to remove? Well, if you’re confident in your knowledge and able to use it on the job without supervision, then it can stay. Otherwise, it should be removed from your resume.
4. Jobs More Than 10 Years Ago
If you’ve been in the IT industry, or in the work force in general, for some time, you probably have a long list of jobs. Even if you’ve only worked at a few places, your job history will go back some time.
It’s a good idea to remove any jobs from your resume that are from more than ten years ago. This is because employers only really need to see recent and relevant jobs, and it saves space on your resume by removing them.
It doesn’t matter what kind of job it is – it could be a fast food restaurant, an internship, or even at another IT company. If it was more than ten years ago, it shouldn’t be on the resume.
Little things like this might not matter to the resume or your overall skills, but we’re trying to make the resume as easy to digest as possible for the reader. Removing these kinds of things from the resume (older jobs, languages) will make it easier for them to read, more relevant, and save space.
5. Low GPA
Your GPA (or Grade Point Average) is a score that represents what your marks were in college or university. I think that the only time to add this to your resume is if it was a high number (over 3.5) and if you completed college or university in the last few years.
This means that if you have a low GPA, or anything under the 3.5 mark, then it shouldn’t go on your resume. It’s not really relevant and it doesn’t highlight your marks.
6. A Non-Professional Email Address
You should always put an email address on your resume. The reader doesn’t always have your email in front of them, so adding it to the resume can help them contact you if they need to.
However, you should make sure that your email address is a professional one. It should have your name in it, if possible. Try to avoid nicknames, and any other kind of unprofessional email address you might have come up with in high school or college.
I’ve had some pretty bad ones in my time, and a lot of people I know had some bad ones. Adding a professional email address to your resume is almost a must-do.
There are a few places on your resume that may refer to sites on the Internet. These could be your LinkedIn profile, your GitHub profile, email address, and any other links to your samples of work. However, while it’s good to mention these on your resume, it’s not a good idea to have the hyperlink on the resume.
The reason to remove the links from your resume is to do with the software that scans resumes that are submitted. Some of them don’t handle links very well, or don’t like a lot of links, even though they may be valid. So, to be on the safe side, you should always include this information, but just remove the hyperlink. You can do this in your word processor.
If you want to make it stand out still, and make it look like an external link, you can underline the word. Just as long as it doesn’t have an active link, it should be OK.
8. Overused Words
There are a lot of words that are used in the IT industry, or in the workplace in general, that should not be added on to IT resumes. They are overused and don’t convey the message that you need it to, and should be avoided at all times.
Words such as analytical, capable, creative, detail oriented, effective, go-to-person, hard working, innovative, motivated, results-driven, scalable, and team player are all useless words to add to a resume.
These words add no meaning to a resume and a lot of them are implied when you go for the job (such as motivated and effective – who isn’t?)
If you’re using these words, you should remove them and rewrite those sentences if needed.
9. References in the Same Document
It’s a good idea to include references of people with your resume. However, they should not go in the same document. It’s better to add them to a separate document, which is just for references. You can put your professional and personal references here, and the document should be formatted in the same way as your resume.
This is just good practice and is the standard that many employers prefer. Having references in the resume takes up space, and if an employer is considering you for a job interview or after the interview, you can supply the references to them at that stage.
10. Irrelevant and Unprofessional Awards
The final point on what to exclude from a resume is an awards that are unprofessional and irrelevant. You should use your own judgement on this one.
It can be a good idea to add your awards to your resume. This can show you have the motivation and interest in a subject to put in extra work to receive an award for it. This could be top marks in your subject, a prize for public speaking or some other award that’s relevant to your job. Adding these in can be good, but only if they are both professional and relevant.
If it’s related to your job or to skills that you use for this job, then great, add it in. If not, then leave it out. Hot dog eating champion and running races probably don’t need to go on your resume for this reason.