Resume Downfalls That Prevent You From Getting That Dream Job

by Rich DeMatteo on March 31, 2014 · 2 comments

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From relevant job experience and achievements, to qualifications and skills, we all understand what is supposed to appear on a resume. However, many of us make the simple mistake of putting too many details on their resume.

Recent research using eye-tracking software showed that head hunters spend a scant six seconds on their initial evaluation of a resume. You will want to make those precious seconds count and one way of doing that is to simplify your CV. After all, your resume is a potential employer’s first impression of you and, as the saying goes, first impressions count.


Here are 5 things you should avoid putting in your resume if you want to land that dream job:

Irrelevant Job Experience

How impressed do you think an employer will be about that part-time ice cream serving position you had at 17 when you are applying for an executive position at a financial firm?

Don’t waste their time on jobs or skills that don’t apply to the role you are applying for. Instead, keep your past jobs list to those roles that best showcase your skills for the position.

When you land the interview, we recommend taking along a second, more detailed, resume that will answer any further questions your interviewer may have.

False Information

It goes without saying that it’s vital to be one hundred per cent honest and accurate about every detail in your resume. If you are caught lying, you cannot only kiss that interview goodbye, but possibly many other future positions in that industry. This is a case where honesty is definitely the best policy.

Salary History

Simply put, admitting your salary on a resume takes away all of your negotiating power for your new position. Don’t spoil your chances of getting a larger salary by including your salary history.

Personal Information

The only personal information you need to provide on your resume is your contact details. Do not include your age, religious or political affiliations, marital status or hobbies. Talking too much about yourself is not only irrelevant, it also puts the employer in an position liable for discrimination. Employers should not be making decisions about your suitability based on anything other than your work skills and experience, so don’t give them as reason to do so. In short, keep your resume solely focussed on your professional experience and abilities.

A Photograph

Likewise, looks should play no role when it comes to determining your suitability for a position (unless the role is a supermodel or actor). For this reason, do not put a photo on your resume.

For further advice on landing that dream job, speak to a recruitment professional at Robert Half.


Kevin Jarvis, Director – New South Wales, Robert Half

Originally from Southampton in the UK, Kevin has 17 years of finance, accounting and project recruitment experience.  Kevin joined Robert Half in October 2001 in the London West End office, before moving back to Sydney in 2003 to manage and grow the Australian business. After heading up the Management Resources division, Kevin led the start-up of our first Robert Half Technology business in Australia.  He was subsequently promoted to Director of Sydney in 2009, and quickly took over managing the wider office network in New South Wales in 2010.

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Sue Smith
Sue Smith

Very informative article.  Colleges should make "resume building" a mandatory class because the biggest offenders of the aforementioned list are college grads.  


You could also include fancy graphics. Some misrepresent a resume for a portfolio of work.