Daily Tip: Don’t Make This Resume Mistake

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What’s the worst resume mistake you could make? There’s a long list of contenders: misspellings, neglecting to include vital information (or packing in too much that’s unimportant), not tailoring the resume to the position, and so on.

But there’s one resume mistake that, in many ways, lords above all the rest: People often forget that all those job descriptions and bullet-points need to come together into a cohesive whole. Your resume is selling a story—the story of you. As such, the document needs to scan well, and the HR staffer or recruiter should come away from it with a very clear sense of who you are and what you can do.

How do you create that clear narrative? If you’re applying for a job as a Linux developer (just as an example), make sure that everything on the resume—from your job descriptions to your skill listings—shows how you’ve grown and mastered everything necessary to do that job. That means leaving off projects that aren’t relevant, even if they seem interesting; it also means narrowing down your lists of skills and abilities to the ones that will intrigue whoever’s reading the resume. As with any good narrative, your goal is coherency (and proper spelling).

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