Attention! There may be parts of your resume that you can immediately remove or change because they are either hurting you or taking up valuable space.


Unless you are asked for one, do not include a photo. Employers expect that you have one on your online career profiles, but not on your resume.

Full Address

You only need your city and state or city and country if you’re outside the United States.


If you’re using an objective statement at the top of your resume, stop. Employers don’t care what your goal is – they want to know what you can do to support their goals. Use 3-4 lines or bullets that summarize your career and skills as they relate to what you want to do next. This brief statement should show the employer, using data from the job posting, that you meet the main required qualifications.

GPA and test scores

If you’ve graduated less than three years ago and have a GPA of 3.5 or above, keep it. Unless you are asked to include them, take out standardized test scores. Once you’re beyond three years out of school, take your GPA off!

A university you didn’t graduate from

The school that matters is the one from which you graduated. If you feel compelled to include a school you transferred from, make sure to not include it separately from the school you graduated from. Include it as a bullet indented underneath your alma mater with years attended.

Cliché phrases

Search the internet for “most commonly used words in resumes” and stop using them. If you’re using any of them, you’re likely not writing about specifics of your experience. This doesn’t help an employer understand who you are and what you’re capable of because you look just like everyone else! Find ways to say exactly what you do by giving clear and concise examples with the purpose or results of your work.


Many acronyms are industry-or company-specific. Don’t use them without first defining them unless they are generally accepted, such as ATM. Spell out the first instance and put the acronym in parentheses after it; you can use the acronym alone from then on.


Using tables is a sure way to set your resume up for failure in Automatic Tracking Software (ATS) which employers use as a database of candidates. If the system cannot read it correctly, you’ll lose your chance to be considered for jobs.

Irrelevant experience

If you have paid work or volunteer experience that is not relevant to your career goals (i.e., you didn’t obtain any transferable skills), you should list those briefly under a headline such as “previous experience.” You don’t need any details except for title, organization, location, and years.

Work experience 10 years or older

Remove bullets for jobs over 10 years old, unless they directly pertain to where you want to take your career and you haven’t demonstrated the same skills in your work since. Incorporate any transferable skills that are not apparent elsewhere in your resume or work history into your career summary or under “technical skills,” which can fall at the end of your resume under “additional information.” However, if you’re in a technical field, you may want move those skills to the top, directly underneath your career summary.

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Marcelle Yeager helps people land jobs that get them to the next level of their career. Through her company Career Valet, she works with mid- to senior-level professionals on their branding strategy and job search materials to secure new roles. She co-founded a second business in 2015 called ServingTalent, where she finds jobs for talented military and Foreign Service spouses. Marcelle has spent over six years living and working abroad. She can be reached at