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Does your consultant resume suffer from a case of TMI?


One of the most common mistakes that hinders an individual’s chances of being considered for a position is the use of inappropriate information. This problem is particularly acute in the Freelance/Consulting world. One of the main reasons that this problem plagues Freelancers is the assumption that they are a “company” and that the job (gig, position, role, project....) is a Corp-To-Corp situation. Another reason is that Freelancers are often represented by some type of staffing agency, so there is sometimes an added (erroneous) feeling of business formality.

All of these assumptions could not be farther from the truth....and here are the reasons why:

Over the last 20+ years, the State and Federal Courts have been gradually eroding the line between Contractor & Employee. The reasons vary from compensation, to taxes, to benefits, to perception, to just about any reason that you can imagine (trust me there are some seriously silly reasons out there...and great ones as well). As a result of this ever increasing shift most companies who value their legal behind have their Human Resources Department oversee the “hiring” of any contractors.

Here is the rub: Regardless of how your resume was forwarded to them they will invariably “judge” it by the same standards as those that they receive from applicants. Why? Because they have to do so just in case they decide to hire you. They also have to make certain that you are what you represent to be (clients, skills, references, experience, education, etc.) and that they are not letting a ticking time bomb walk around their office. Add to that about 100 other legal, business and common sense reasons that and good HR pro will tell you.

Guarding the gate is one of the primary missions of ever HR department. So as a result ANYTHING that seems inappropriate in their eyes get the thumbs down. That includes resume with inappropriate information. Now what I’ve covered here is by no means the entire scope of business/legal reasons that the HR folks might bounce a questionable resume, but the list below will cover you from making any large “red flag” mistakes.

Your resume should never include any information on:
> Your social security number
> Birthdate or age
> Your picture
> Gender (Professional associations that spell out what gender your are should be weighed against the actual value they might bring to your qualifications. For example; If you belonged to the Association of Latino Professionals in Finanace and Accounting you might want to include that association. Just be sure it has actual value to your resume and is not just filler.)
> Race (Same advice here as above.)
> Nationality
> Country of birth
> Religion (I can’t stress this enough. Religious symbols on resumes are huge red flags for HR departments.)
> Sexual orientation
> Marital status
> Family history or information
> Hobbies
> Political affiliations
> Physical traits / dimensions (fit models you are the exception here)
> Your medical condition
> Your disabilities
> Teams, clubs and associations you belong to that are not of a professional nature
> Your financial situation (even if credit history will be a factor in hiring you this is a subject best left for discussion in later rounds of the interview process)
> Charities that you support (The exception to this is if you donate time in a professional capacity. But be wise about what you list. Helping poor people with taxes would be all right to list. However legal work for a political action committee, or your local place of worship, might set off red flags.)
> Anything that is of a non-professional and/or personal nature

I hope this helps. Happy

Cheers, R-A-L