This report was compiled by The Independent

Finding and securing a job in your sector can be difficult - especially when it’s your first time entering the workforce.

To understand what career seekers should have on their resume, the Independent spoke to experts and employers and this is what they recommend avoiding when it comes to crafting CVs.


Under almost no circumstance should you have a picture on your resume, according to numerous career experts - with just two exceptions.

“Unless you are a model or a famous person, leave off your picture,” Robin Schlinger, founder of Robin’s Resumes, told The Independent.

Carolyn Betts Fleming, CEO and founder of Betts Recruiting, echoed the advice, adding: “Don’t include a photo on your resume.”

However, Ms Fleming does recommend “including a link to your LinkedIn profile where people can see your photo.”

With such a limited amount of space already, adding a picture doesn’t make sense.

Career objective

This formerly-popular resume feature is now outdated - so experts recommend adapting to the current job job-seeking climate and leaving it off.

When asked what to omit from a resume, Erin Kennedy, CEO at Professional Resume Services told us: “The number one thing that stands out to me is an objective.

“Nothing puts you back in the 1990s faster than ‘Objective: To pursue a sales position while furthering my skills’ or something similar.”

Instead, she recommends considering a “career summary” and adding “five or six sentences that summarise your accomplishments and skills.”

Certified career management coach and founder of the Career Success Coach, Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin, also advised swapping objective in favour of something else.

“Leave off the career objective such as ‘seeking a challenging position within a progressive organisation’ or anything which sounds similar to that,” she said. “Hiring managers don’t care about what a candidate wants; they do care about the problems that the candidate can solve for their company.”

Ms Schwerdlin said job-seekers should consider replacing the objective with a “branded headline,” which “reflects a candidate’s professional title and industry, such as Retail Store Manager, Computer Programmer Specialising in Web-Based Applications, Non-Profit Executive, Elementary School Teacher, etc.

“Below that headline should be a short paragraph summarising and supporting a candidate’s work experience in that profession/industry.”

References available upon request

Just as the objective section is a thing of the past, as are other resume phrases such as “references available upon request.”

According to Georgia Adamson, CEO of A Successful Career, references available upon request is “a phrase that’s not necessary and takes up valuable space" because it's obvious.

“I haven’t used it in probably 15 plus years,” she said.

Unnecessary or irrelevant skills

Because resumes are supposed to be kept up to date and reflect the skills that would make you a fit for a specific job, they should include attributes that show you would be helpful to employers - not ones that are expected knowledge of any candidates.

“Job seekers shouldn’t put anything on the resume that looks ‘outdated’ - and that includes really old dates, outmoded technology and computer skills,” Ms Adamson said.

This includes Microsoft Office - the number one thing people should leave off their resumes, according to executive career coach, leadership consultant, staff development trainer, and CEO of Executive Coach NY Jane Cranston.

“If you think that’s a big deal, you know little about workplace technology,” Ms Cranston said.

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Ms Cranston also recommends leaving off skills related to travel or theatre.

“Everyone says that, and no one cares,” she told the Independent.