Five things headhunters in the US don’t want to see on your resume

Alexander Mazzara 17, Jun 2022 6 min
Headhunter Schweiz

It may have been common practice, but the name and profession of the parents do not belong in the resume. Companies, recruiters, and headhunters in the US only want information that is relevant for jobs.

The usual structure of an application is as follows:

  • Cover letter
  • Cover sheet (optional)
  • Resume
  • Short profile, project list, letter of motivation
  • Appendix (certificates, references, letters of recommendation)

Particular attention is paid to the resume. It describes various outstanding stages in the life of applicants. And this information is of course particularly relevant for future employers.

The resume provides an excellent overview of what headhunters in the US need to know.

What belongs on a resume?

Headhunter US

The resume serves as a brief overview of personal and professional development. All stations are described briefly and concisely. This, among other things, is what distinguishes a resume. Structurally, some keywords must also be served in order to fulfill the purpose of the resume. These are:

  • Heading: contact details like telephone number and e-mail address
  • Education, training and professional activities: a list of all highlights, sorted by importance
  • Special knowledge and skills: Foreign languages, programming skills, …
  • Extra-occupational commitment: voluntary work, social commitment, …
  • Hobbies: This is a somewhat tricky point. Hobbies like sleeping late etc. do not belong on a resume!

How many pages may the resume contain?

It should not exceed three pages. One thing is clear: When experienced professionals apply, a lot of information comes together. It is important to emphasize and shorten the core statements so that the form of the resume can be maintained. Further details will then find their place in the course of the application process, for example in a personal interview.

What should definitely not be missing from the resume?

Particular emphasis should be placed on professional experience, project-related skills and special knowledge and abilities. Headhunters in the US like to maintain a cultivated understatement. Anyone who brags too much about their successes quickly comes across as arrogant. The art of writing a resume therefore lies in making skills clear without selling yourself too aggressively.

Equally important is the extra-occupational commitment. Companies don’t just buy a specialist, they first and foremost get to know a person. Knowing where interests lie and where time is invested paints a comprehensive picture.

Last but not least, it is the personal contact information that should not be missing from the resume. In principle, the resume functions independently, relevant information for contacting people is mandatory. This way, recruiters, who may be confronted with hundreds of applications every day, have information at their fingertips.

What do headhunters in the US look for on a resume?

It is clarity that makes a good resume. That is why it makes sense to write a resume and then let a few days pass before revising it. Bringing in another person as a checker is also a good idea. Questions that can be asked while writing and revising are:

  • Is the CV clearly structured?
  • Is relevant information included (see above)?
  • Can unnecessary information be shortened?

If you want to be on the safe side, you can hire an agency to create the application.

Professional recruiters analyze applications, not least by time sequence and position details. Are there gaps in the resume? Good advice is to briefly describe the gap without explaining or justifying. Recruiters examine whether positions are continually rising in ranking and, if not, what reasons there may be for this.

What details do headhunters in the US not want on a resume?

As already mentioned: The mother’s maiden name is a detail that belonged to application letters of previous generations. However, there are other pieces of information that are irrelevant to an application. These include:

  • Details of spouses
  • Information on religious denomination
  • Information about the state of health
  • Hobbies irrelevant to the job
  • Political interests

It is also very important not to include a picture of you. It would violate the anti-discrimination laws if you did.

Moreover, these are the classic pitfalls that can make a resume a no-go:

  • spelling mistakes, grammatical errors
  • unstructured form
  • handwritten details
  • irrelevant information (kindergarten, favorite color, how often married, …)

The salary requirement does not belong on the resume


Normally, the job advertisement gives clear information about the salary. This is the number that counts, and it’s normally non-negotiable. But sometimes, the salary is negotiable, which is then mentioned in the ad.

Then, the salary expectation is formulated at the end of the cover letter. Talented people often jump right in and mention the desired salary directly after the salutation. However, this tends to make it difficult for the application to be successful.

Anyone who is unsure about the salary to be demanded can find out about common salaries on the Internet. If you want to know exactly: The Lionstep assessment provides comprehensive information on salaries, etc. You can find out more about that below.

If you apply as a talent at Lionstep, you will benefit from the support of our experts. You can contact us at any time. Because we want your success and give you realistic advice.

By the way, the resume is not signed for applications in the US. This is reserved for the cover letter.

Lionstep Assessment: Professional support for a successful application

At Lionstep, candidates have the opportunity to receive professional coaching. Our assessments ensure that your application is successful.

Depending on the package booked, career coaching sessions include, for example:

  • Needs assessment
  • Sharpening of the job profile
  • Career coaching
  • Access to our talent pool, which automatically matches you with suitable job profiles

Registration for the assessment takes place online. Simply select your desired package, register, and we will contact you to discuss the next steps of our career counseling.

You simply book the packages according to your wishes and needs. In addition, the Lionstep team is always available for advice. Why should it be complicated when it can be simple?

Competent application: Career paths at Lionstep

Of course, there are a variety of ways to find out about job openings. Job advertisements in newspapers are still a popular source.

Modern headhunters in the US offer more than that. At Lionstep, talents find exclusive job advertisements and can also take advantage of our professional support.

Are you looking for an exciting position and want to apply? Feel free to contact us personally at any time. Our team is there for you and will accompany you through the entire application process. Create and use synergies: With Lionstep, you take the next step on your path to professional success!

As an ambitious candidate ready for change, you will discover interesting job offers on our job board.