Six Things NOT to Put on Your Finance Resume

If you have finished university and are on the hunt for a job in finance, you have hopefully done your research on how to develop a resume specific to the industry and you understand those important elements that should be included. In your search, you have probably come across plenty of content online explaining how to promote yourself and write a compelling personal summary, but have you considered what should not be included?

Here are six things NOT to put on your resume.

1 Irrelevant Job Experience

As a university graduate, you probably have little relevant professional experience for the job you want just yet, but you might be tempted to include anything and everything on your resume to compensate.

Unfortunately, your working holiday in Ibiza and that summer-long stint collecting golf balls at the driving range will not impress any future employers.

What you can do is add a section where you highlight the skills you have developed during your part-time working days.

Carefully consider what you did on a day-to-day basis that transfers over to a career in finance. At first, it may seem like a forlorn task, but with a little lateral thinking, you will surely uncover some relevant details.

For example, perhaps you had to exercise a keen attention to detail in one of your positions, or you worked a job where you collaborated closely with others. These are the skills that catch an employer’s eye.

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Irrelevant job experience has no place on a CV

2 Poor Grammar

Poor grammar can destroy an otherwise impressive resume especially in an industry as cutthroat and competitive as finance.

When you type up your resume, read it carefully three or four times, then read it over again Look out for any mistakes or sentences that jar. Be as critical as possible during this step and, if needed, get a friend or family member to read over it, too. Another good tip is to read it aloud – does it make sense?

If you struggle with your grammar, there are some handy online tools such as Hemingway Editor and Grammarly, but, as with any piece of technology, they are not the solution, merely a tool you can use to help in your job hunt.

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3 Unusual Contact Information

Your resume will surely include the usual contact details at the top of your first page. And, while the witty email address you set up in school might be your primary point of contact online, no prospective employer wants to see on a candidate’s profile.

Make sure your contact details are professional and to the point. If you need to, set up a new email address and make it as plain and boring as possible. is the ideal format.
Don't include unusual contact information on your resume

4 A Physical Description

There is absolutely no need to put any sort of physical description on your resume.

Finance workers are notoriously black and white – they deal with numbers and absolutes – so impress them with your achievements, skills, and statistics about what you have accomplished so far in your university life/career, rather than boasting about any physical prowess or attributes. A picture showing off your bright white smile or killer abdominal muscles will not impress anyone.

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5 Overly Personal Info

You are applying for a professional position, and your future employer only cares about your professional achievements and any specific elements of your personal life that might transfer over into your career (think of characteristics/skills you have learnt as a result of your hobbies).

There is no need to include information on aspects of your personal life such as your religious beliefs or your relationship status.

6 Lacklustre Achievements

A first in your university degree or an ‘excellence in economics’ award will undoubtedly impress your future employer, but lacklustre, nebulous, or hard-to-understand achievements are not impressive – in fact, they are the opposite. In a high-performing sector such as finance, future employers want to see how you overachieved at something impressive, even if you ultimately did not win an award for it. Leave the less impressive achievements off the document.

You may have been told when preparing for school and university exams ‘if in doubt, don’t leave it out’ but in the construction of mature, impressive and successful resumes, the opposite is often the case. If you are prevaricating over whether or not to include a detail, the chances are you are better off omitting the extraneous detail. In presenting a lean, focused and streamlined resume, you are presenting yourself as having the same qualities and giving yourself more than fighting chance of setting yourself apart.
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