Resume Mistakes

When I was working in recruitment, I saw my fair share of weird and ridiculous resumes. At its worst, a candidate included a photo of herself on her resume in which she was naked (!), face-down on a persian rug, with her legs curled behind her. It showed extraordinarily poor judgement, and not only did I reject her for the role, but I made a note in my system to ignore any future applications from her.

I generally recommend against putting a photo on your resume. It just invites the viewer to make pre-judgements about you, many of which could be unfair.

But far more important in your resume, it should:

* Be easy to read
* Be succinct
* Have your contact details easily at hand, with a PROFESSIONAL email address (not ‘’)
* Be truthful

I’ve spoken multiple times about Behavioural-Based Interviewing in recruitment. The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.

You’ve written your resume on a computer. That computer has a spell-checker. If you haven’t bothered to use it, that tells me all I need to know about you.

If you submit a resume that is unclear, full of errors and/or includes outright lies, then as an employer I should expect that these are the traits that you will display in the job. And I have never, ever, advertised a position for a ‘garbled, sloppy liar’.

The issue of truth is one that I cannot stress enough. A startling proportion of candidates exaggerate, embellish or outright lie, either to cover aspects of their background or to try to be what they think the employer wants.

But we live in a digital world. It was easy enough to spot lies before the internet. Now it is a trivial exercise, and you can be sure that a professional recruiter or employer has enough experience with being lied to that they recognise it when they see it, and they deeply resent it.

Most importantly, each resume you submit should be individual, and carefully tailored for that particular job. Carefully analyse the job ad. Do your research on the job and that company. Include and emphasise the information that is relevant to this particular application. If you haven’t spent 4 hours preparing that one application, you haven’t spent enough.

And remember: 5 good applications are better than 100 rubbish ones.
Here is are a couple of articles on the topic: Business Insider, Seek