When I was a corporate HR manager, hundreds of resumes crossed my desk for every job ad I posted.

These days, I also view and write resumes every day as part of my awesome job here at Arielle.

It means that every day I see mistakes and some of them are repeated very, very often. Let me share with you the top 4 resume mistakes which will kill your job application.


1. Unnecessary Information.

It’s quite common for people to waste space on their resume by including the names of their spouse and children, ages of their children and so on.

Before you add any detail to your resume, make sure it passes the “Job Performance Test”. And that is:


Can you confidently say that this information is critical in helping your prospective employer evaluate your job performance?


I understand that you might want to create rapport by sharing some personal details about your life, however your resume is not a place to do it.

2. Unprofessional Email Address.

The contact email address you provide on your resume should not sound like it belongs to a teenager.

You might have been drinksareonme_dave@hotmail.com when you were younger, but there’s no need to share that with your potential employer.

I understand that you might have a sentimental attachment to your old email address, however employers won’t see it that way.

The most professional option is to register a domain name and create a first name email address on it. An email address like sally@sallythompson.com strengthens your personal brand and hints to a potential employer that small details are important to you.

3. The Shotgun Approach.

Do you have a habit of hitting “APPLY” button a few dozen times each day, uploading the same (or similar) resume and cover letter for each role? It’s easy to tell.

Usually it means that your resume and cover letter will be not perfectly aligned to each other and/or to the role. Other tell-tale signs that you’re not being selective are: you get the recruiter’s name wrong, you make a mistake when writing the job name, date it was advertised, etc.

Some of my clients have told me that, before they came to see me, they’ve been applying for over 100 jobs per week.

Doing this has ongoing consequences – the recruiters remember your name and begin to associate it with “that person who spams me every time I put a job ad up”.


The recruiting world is smaller than you think; if you drag your name through the dirt, it will be more difficult to get a call-back even when you put a good application in.


4. The Dated Layout.

Keep in mind that the recruiter who will receive your resume will most likely be in their late 20’s or early 30’s. It means that they’ve spent the last 10 years of their professional career consuming copious amounts of content online.

These folks are masters of skimming through pages; they have very little patience for poorly laid out, overcrowded text documents.

You need to design your resume with them in mind – make sure it speaks their design language, or you’ll lose them.


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