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How to overcome 5 common resume mistakes

Sarah K. White | Jan. 19, 2017
Avoid the five resume writing mistakes most commonly seen in the IT Resume Makeover series.

Another issue with jargon-heavy resumes is that they can often leave out experience, focusing solely on individual skills that are often listed out of context. In this resume makeover from last June, Andrew Ysasi, president of Adomovio and executive director of Kent Record Management, helped one candidate sift through a list of skills to build a resume that included key skills and illustrated how those fit into the candidate's overall experience. It's not just about your skills, you want to show how those skills fit into your past experience to illustrate your career story.

Tell your career story

Speaking of your "career story," part of writing a resume includes selling yourself to recruiters and hiring managers - you want them to see how your unique set of skills and work experience set you apart from others in your field. One great way to do that is to create what some resume writers call a "career story," or some sort of narrative that shows how your accomplishments led you to where you are now. It's all about personal branding, says Burns; in fact, he's seen so many that lack any type of personality that he's started calling it "all bland and no brand."

A great example of how to transfer your career history into a story can be found in this makeover from last March. Jennifer Hay, professional resume writer for IT Resume Service, helped one candidate take a boring list of skills and qualifications and transform it into a more interesting narrative. The candidate was surprised, noting that he hadn't considered approaching his resume in this format, and that he felt it was something commonly overlooked when writing IT resumes.

Candidates never even consider their resume to reflect a "story," instead viewing it as a serious, buttoned-up and professional document that can't exude any personality. But instead, as Ysasi demonstrated in this resume makeover from June, you want to inject your resume with just the right amount of personality to set you apart from the crowd.

Consider organization

One common struggle in resume writing is knowing how to organize experience, skills, education, projects and past work so that they make sense to a reader. It can be even more difficult if you have a unique career history that might not line up chronologically, which was the case in our January resume makeover. JM Auron, a leading global IT careers leader, resume writer and owner of Quantum Tech Resumes, helped this candidate tackle a reverse chronological order for his resume to better show "his value to prospective employers."


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