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Don't Make These Common Resume Mistakes

Creating the perfect resume is by no means an easy task. Your resume speaks volumes and essentially decides where you fall in line during the hiring process. A resume has the ability to put you in the “consider” category or the “pass” category. That's why avoiding common resume mistakes is so important. Not only do you need to stand out from the others, but you also need to stay away from the pile of unfortunate resumes with careless blunders. So, how do you do that? Well, let's remember that you only have a limited amount of space to tell your employer everything you want them to know. Good structure and proper placement is essential here. A great resume should be well structured and free from irrelevant information. Let's take a look at some key ingredients for good resume structure and content.

Personal Profile

Part of a winning resume is a strong personal profile. You are not a robot, nor should you come across as one in your resume. This section provides you with the chance to add some personality and humanity to your resume. This is where you summarize all of your best qualities in an effort to sell yourself and make your resume stand out from the crowd. What you don't want to do is make this section too long or too personal. For example, no one need to know you collect baseball cards or have a fascination with rainbow fish. Let's stick to the name of the game here.

Key Achievements or Awards

This section is for bragging. What have you done? What have you achieved that makes you an excellent candidate? All of that good stuff belongs here. Remember, no one needs to know about your bowling score. Relevant achievements only please.

Employment History

List the experiences that are somewhat relevant to the job you are applying for. Professional jobs are listed here, beginning with the most recent. Leave out the time you worked the snack shack at the golf course. Adding irrelevant work will turn the reader off, and move you closer to the “pass” pile.


List your education here. Even if your degree is in a completely different field than the one you are applying for, the degree still signifies determination, wisdom, and a good work ethic. List your degrees proudly!


What makes you an excellent candidate for the job you are applying for? Are you a fast typist or do you have superior technical knowledge? Tell your future employer what skills you bring to the table. Don't list too many irrelevant skills. If you are a world class Chess player, by all means, add that, but perhaps we can leave out the balloon animal mastery and hotdog eating record.


Choose your references carefully. The biggest mistake you can make is to assume that people will not check your references and list a friend you haven't spoken to in years. You want your references to be available and ready for a call or email. They should be informed about your job search, recent accomplishments, and why you are a strong candidate for whatever position you are applying for. Choose a former professor, supervisor, or colleague who really knows what you're capable of, and don't forget to verify their current contact information.

Biggest Tip

Since your resume is basically like an entrance exam to the school of your dreams, it wouldn't hurt to tailor your resume for the job you are applying for. This doesn't have to take a long time, and it can really make the difference in your chances. Pull up the job description and take the time to focus on the highlighted requirements. Emphasize the experience and skills you have that meet their needs.

My name is Joost and I have been active as a recruiter for the past 5 years. At, I share my experience, tips and the "secret" tricks to help you get a job. Do you have questions? Please send me an email via the contact form.