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Resume overkill

Nearly everything written about resume design concentrates on what you should put in. But let’s look at what should be left out, or at least minimized.

Superfluous materials. When submitting a resume, avoid enclosing such items as your thesis, photos, diplomas, transcripts, product samples, newspaper articles, blueprints, designs, or letters of recommendation. These are props you can use during your interview, but not before. The only thing other than your resume that’s acceptable is your business card.

Personal information. Leave out anything other than the absolute essentials such as, “Married, two children, willing to relocate, excellent health.” By listing your Masonic affiliation, save-the-whales activism or codependency support group, you could give the employer a reason to suspect that your outside activities may interfere with your work.

Not long ago, I received a resume from a candidate who felt the need to put his bowling average on his curriculum vita. The person must have thought that kind of information might improve his chances of being interviewed. Given the choice, would I show his resume to an employer? Not a chance.

Remember, the greater the relevancy between your resume and the needs of the employer, the more seriously your candidacy will be considered. Say what you need to get the job—and nothing more.

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