10 Major ‘Sins’​ In A Resume


The learning gathered by me over years by reading hundreds of Resumes on a daily basis and dealing with employers’ feedback tells me that a well developed Resume does play a critical role in influencing the decision of shortlisting you or not.

Let me list down the 10 mistakes to avoid while writing a Resume:

1] Over 2 pages: A Resume has to entice a prospective employer to meet you. It is important to pay attention to all critical saleable points and condense them into 2 pages without losing the impact.

2] Ignoring the beginning : Worldwide research has proven that a prospective recruiter would spend not more than 30 seconds to decide whether to read the rest of the Resume. If the initial content of your Resume is not engaging enough, you lose the opportunity of being called for a meeting. ( For example residence address need not be mentioned at the top of the first page as it wastes precious space. It should be at the bottom of the 2nd page and there is no need to write the POSTAL address; just city and suburb should suffice).

3] Forgetting YOU: Most Resumes are typically written in a traditional format. chronological, functional and so on. While it remains acceptable, YOU as an individual Brand are lost. You need to write it in a story telling ( results and not responsibilities) format using a conversational tone.

4] Words are ‘copy paste’ : It is common experience that it gets difficult to differentiate between the resume of candidate A vs candidate B. So why would a reader be compelled to meet you? Your language has to find the connect with the reader’s need ( pain point of the job).

5] Spelling errors: It creates a negative impression about an individual and he/she is perceived to be possessing a careless attitude. It is a big put off because it gives a feeling to the reader that this is how the candidate would approach his/her work. Remember the first impression is the last impression.

6] Outdated information: If you have 15 years work experience, there is no need to elaborate what your achievements were as a college student.

7] Focusing on job responsibilities and not achievements: You are going to be hired for what you achieved and not what you were responsible for. So there is no point in elaborating job responsibilities( which is conveyed from your job title). Just a brief one liner is enough. Then focus on sharing your stories of success.

8] Elaborating experience beyond 10 years : The environment which we all live in is very dynamic. The employer is interested primarily in knowing about what you learntand are you adaptable? There is no need to get into detailing of your success stories of your tenure beyond 10 years. Just snippets are good enough.

9] Tampering with Tenure : Many times candidates feel that either knocking off a tenure completely or tampering with the period is required as the background was irrelevant. Unless it was just a very short tenure like less than a month, build a story around your lessons learnt and mention it. Because if discovered at a later stage ( after you are employed) , it becomes an unrepairable damage to your credibility which is not worth affecting at any cost.

10] Not tweaking and customising: As they say one size does not fit all. Studying the pain point of the prospective employer and then customising your Resume adds power to your Resume and makes it compelling for the Recruiter to call you.

Avoid these bloopers and you are well on your way to attend an interview.

If it interests you, we built Story Resumes and you can visit us here : Story Resume 


Sarabjeet Sachar