3 Things to Leave out of Your Resume

We understand. Really, we do! You want your resume to be the best it can be, so you want to include every great thing you did in order to give yourself that edge in the hiring process. You’re trying hard, and it’s admirable.

Writing a resume can be like packing for a trip; you want to bring everything you may need for any situation, but when it comes time to close that suitcase, you find you might have gotten carried away.

It happens. We understand.

Just like overpacking your suitcase, overpacking your resume can end up working against you. All those extra details can bog down a resume that should be crisp, lively, and impressive.

While there are many things you should not leave out of your resume on your journey to new employment, these are three things that are better left at home and off of your resume:

1. References

Your references are important, should be well developed, but have no business being on your resume. Period. If you make it through the first phase or two of the hiring process, better employers will ask you for references, so have them ready, preferably in a separate Word document. Until then, featuring references on your resume is a rookie mistake that can make you look as unprofessional as a clip-on tie.

While we’re on the subject, also make no mention to your references on your resume! The overused line “References Available Upon Request” is unnecessary and a time and space waster. Be patient with your references.

2. Old, Irrelevant Jobs

Deciding which jobs should be listed on your resume, and how they should be listed, may need to be discussed between you and your resume writer. Be leery, though, of listing old and irrelevant jobs.

An old job is any job that you left more than 10 years ago. Hopefully you have furthered your career the last 10 years, so keep the focus there.

An irrelevant job is one that is not in the field you want to get into and does not show you in a favorable, professional light. Your resume is not a job application where the employer wants to know every job you had. It’s a promotional document to show you in the best light to help you get the job you’re applying for.

If a past position is more than 10 years old and doesn’t show relevant, applicable skills, it’s probably best to leave it off.

3. The Third Page

While you may have a long, storied career with plenty to talk about, if your resume is going on to a third, fourth, or even (shudder to think) fifth page, you need to seriously rethink the makeup of your resume.

Today’s resumes get the job done quickly and efficiently. They speak fast, summarize, and let the reader make an informed decision about you in six to 30 seconds. That’s not long.

It’s not that what you have on those extra pages isn’t important; there simply isn’t time to read them. Hiring managers are reading dozens and dozens of resumes to fill each opening. Do them a favor; make your case quickly as to why you’re a great candidate quickly. The hiring manager will appreciate it, and will look upon you favorably.


When writing a resume, more usually isn’t better. If your resume has some extra items that need to be cleaned out, but you’re not sure how to do it, come to One Great Resume. We’re the experts at figuring out what needs to be said to get you an interview and get you hired.

A professional resume is cheaper than unemployment. Get One Great Resume today.