8 things to leave off your resume
In part 1 of our post on the basic structure of your CNA resume, we walked you through all of the fundamentals like how long your resume should be, what fonts you should use, and the what the layout of your content should look like. What we did not include in that post though was what to leave OFF your CNA resume.
Why are we doing a separate post just for what to leave off your resume? Because it is that important. Unfortunately, if you include some/any of the content below on your resume, you run a big risk of not being selected for an interview.
There is good news though: it’s really easy to follow the guidelines below! So let’s get started on 8 things we think you should leave off your resume.
We are not totally against using an objective statement on your resume, we just think most people are better off not using one. The main reason we don’t like objective statements is because it is redundant. You should be writing cover letters for all CNA jobs that you apply for, even if they are not required as part of the application. Writing a cover letter removes the need of the objective statement.
The limited space on your 1 page CNA resume is better used by showing off your qualifications and accomplishments instead of an objective statement that basically says” hey, I want to interview for this job.” Trust us, they already know you want an interview or your would not have applied!
One of the rare exceptions we would recommend a CNA job candidate use an objective statement is if they don’t have much (or any) prior work experience and need something to fill some space on their resume.
If you are a younger nursing assistant candidate and this applies to you, you should put your objective statement between the header and education sections of your resume. Objective statements will be covered in another post, but for now just remember that it should be a brief, targeted statement about your past accomplishments AND why you are great fit for this job.
it is not necessary to say “References available upon request” on your resume. They already know you can/should be able to supply references if you get to the interview stage. Again, you should use this space to sell yourself as the right person for the job, don’t waste the space on unnecessary and understood statements.
Although you should leave references off your resume, you should start thinking about who your references will be fairly early in the application process. It’s important that you let your potential references know that you are interviewing for positions and that they may be contacted regarding your nursing assistant candidacy.
You do not want your references surprised one day by a phone call about your candidacy. It just sends an awkward message to the hiring manager because they start thinking to themselves “how well do they actually know this candidate?” So avoid this awkwardness and just give your references a heads up, but leave anything regarding references off your resume.
Your resume is not a biography. Therefore, there is no reason to include your birthday, religious affiliation, ethnicity, political party, marital status, how many children you have or any other personal information on it.
None of this is relevant to whether or not you can perform the CNA job duties and are qualified for the job. In fact, it is actually illegal for a potential employer to ask you questions about most of your personal information. So don’t ever feel like you need to voluntarily give up any personal information.
Just remember: they are looking for the most qualified CNA candidate that is the best fit for the job. They are not looking for a nursing assistant candidate just because they are a certain age, have a certain number of kids or follow a certain religion.
Reasons you left a past job
Have you ever been on a first date and the date keeps bringing up why things didn’t workout between them and their ex? Well it seems like no matter how good of a job they do explaining their side of the story, it still doesn’t help their case really. Rarely does anything good come from talking about the ex.
Well it’s a similar strategy when applying and interviewing for a new job. There’s just no reason to put it on your resume. If they ask you during your interview why you left a past job, you can provide a very mature answer like “it was a great job and the experience was very rewarding, but I felt like it was time to move on to a new challenge in my life.”
No matter how bad you want to put it on your resume that you left your last job because your boss was incompetent, don’t do it! They don’t want to hear about your drama and negative feelings about past employers. They want to hear why you are the right nursing assistant for this job.
We have previously covered whether or not to use hobbies, but as a summary we recommend not including hobbies on your resume most of the time. The only objective of your resume is to help you get an interview. And you only have 1 page to do this, so don’t waste valuable space just to say you like hiking, photography or painting.
Your prior work experience, training and education help you do a much better job of conveying that you should get an interview than most hobbies can. If you still think your hobby should be on your resume, we recommend reading our previous article about hobbies on resumes to see if it passes our guidelines.
Social media accounts
Hopefully most of you already follow this rule, but don’t put anything related to your social media accounts on your resume. This includes instagram, twitter, facebook, pinterest, snapchat and anything else that is a purely social networking website.
The CNA position is a professional healthcare position, it is not a marketing or advertising position. Putting anything related to your social media accounts will immediately raise immaturity issues and put doubts about professionalism into the minds of HR and the hiring manager.
We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you to please make sure all the material posted on your social media accounts portray you in a positive and professional image. In other words, make sure all the pictures and commentary you have posted to your accounts would not keep you from getting an interview. HR checks the profiles of prospective CNA job candidates more often than you would think.
We did not include LinkedIn with this social media group, but you should probably leave it off your resume also. Although LinkedIn is a professional network, there’s just no need to have anything about it on your profile. We definitely think you should have a LinkedIn profile, but just don’t put the URL or anything associated with it on your resume.
You should not write any content on your resume using personal pronouns like I, me, he, she or we. If you haven’t written a resume before, that may sound strange. You’re probably thinking to yourself “well how else am I going to talk about myself?!”
Well here’s a example: instead of saying “I managed 5 employees” just say “Managed 5 employees”. The person reviewing your resume knows you you’re talking about yourself, so don’t be redundant and tell them it was you doing all those great things. They already know.
Similarly, don’t write your resume in the third person by using “he” or “she” when referring to yourself. Got it? Good. On to the next thing we think you should leave off your resume…
Past salary/wage information
Your resume is not the place to put information about your past salary or hourly wage. Some applications will ask for past salary or wage information, and it is okay to give that information then. However, your resume should reflect that value you added to companies at your past jobs, not the costs they incurred as a result of employing you.
Staying on topic with your resume will lead to more interviews
You should have 1 goal when you submit your resume for an open CNA job: to get an interview. And the best way to achieve this goal is to stay on topic and demonstrate why your work experience, CNA training and education make you one of the most qualified candidates.
What you leave off your resume is sometimes just as important as what you have on your resume. So do yourself a favor and leave the 8 items we just discussed off your resume. You will greatly increase your chances of getting more interviews if you do so.