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10 Common Resume Mistakes And What To Do Instead



resume mistakes

I’m not going to mess around with some built up introduction. It’s this simple: getting internships and jobs is extremely competitive. Companies routinely get thousands of job applications, which means they have the power to be hyper-selective in who they hire.

So how do give yourself the best chance of getting noticed among the crowd? Well, this involves many different aspects.

But, by avoiding the resume mistakes below, you will gain a big time edge on the other candidates who commit these errors and thereby eliminate themselves. By avoiding these mistakes, you increases your chances of getting your resume noticed and receiving interviews.

Let’s get to it.

10 Common Resume Mistakes

1. No keyword matches. When thousands of other applicants and you submit your resume online, organizations use software to scan every uploaded resume and find the keywords they want.

If your only strategy is to submit your standard resume and hope by blind luck that it gets noticed, you’re way too optimistic. Once you realize your lack of strategy doesn’t work, it may be too late to get hired.

Solution: Do some research by looking at the job description. Then, add the main keywords from the job description onto your resume—where it makes sense, of course. If the job description is short or unavailable, a secondary option is to research and include keywords from the company’s website.

When you add keywords to your resume, the organization’s software scanner is more likely to choose your resume for a future interview.

2. Resume is unspecific to the job description. Human reviewers can also tell when an applicant has a general resume that looks like a factsheet. If you didn’t put in the effort to customize your resume to the specific position, they will quickly decide that you’re not the right fit.

Solution: Make a customized resume for every job you apply to in a different field.

For example, if you apply to a marketing, finance, and a sales position, you’ll want to customize three different resumes. Customizing a resume means changing the experiences and resume lines to better fit the type of position.

A crucial part of resume writing is understanding the audience and then making your best pitch to them.

3. Only meet minimum qualifications. It’s great when you fit the major and the minimum GPA requirement for a job. But, if that’s all you have, then you’re not going to get the position. This is because superior candidates will also meet the requirements and bring more to the table.

Solution: Eliminate the fluffy phrases that block your resume from excelling. Instead, use specific resume lines that market yourself in the best way possible.  

Include an interesting activity that makes you different, such as: having a blog with 2,000 readers a month, performing the lead role in a play, winning a chess tournament, or whatever it is for you.

If you have a couple of years before you go through the full-time job search, make it a priority to do a unique experience or activity to set you apart.

4. Questionable internet presence. Your first thought is probably to hide the Facebook pictures that show you drinking at a frat party. It’s true that organizations wouldn’t look kindly on those pictures, but what’s arguably worse is a lack of internet presence.

You can assume every organization is going to Google search your name. And if the recruiter finds no results, then they will question your credibility and trustworthiness. Not having some type of internet presence in 2015 is a red flag.

Solution: Influence the Google search results by developing a positive digital footprint. You have more power over the search results than you think.

For example, is the first result for a Google search of “Brian Robben.” The second result is my LinkedIn profile. And the third result is my Twitter account.

Establish your digital footprint by creating a personal website or blog, or writing professional content on, and making a professional Twitter profile.  

5. Improper formatting. Recruiters will reject candidates who have a resume with too much bold or italics, lines everywhere, uncalled for blank space, or any other formatting error. With so many resumes to analyze, they won’t waste their time on one that’s hard to read.

And other times a resume looks beautiful, until it’s uploaded and the formatting gets messed up, which also will result in rejection.

Solution: A simple format with excellent content is more valuable than a beautifully designed resume with weak content. However, design your resume with the mindset of the person viewing it.

Use the bold or italics sparingly to highlight key phrases. Eliminate underutilized blank space. And do some usability tests with those around you to see what version looks most appealing and organized to them.

To protect yourself from a format upload problem, convert your resume to a PDF before you upload. This way you know your resume is going to look the same no matter the device or computer.

6. Includes typos. Maybe the most egregious error of all resume mistakes is having a typo. This error is highlighted because it’s one of your first impressions with the organization.

The thought goes if you’re not diligent with your resume, how can the company trust you to be careful with important work. A typo can overshadow the positive you can bring to their organization.

Solution: Ditch the spell check and grammar check by getting old school.

First, print out your resume and grab a pen to walk through each line checking for errors. As you do this, read the document out loud. If it sounds funny, odds are the recruiter will feel the same way when they read your resume.

Second, look up the spelling of unfamiliar or tricky words that have the potential to be incorrect. This will take a maximum of five minutes.

Third, give your resume to a trusted friend or professor and tell them to mark any typos or questionable aspects.

Spending the time to ensure a typo-free resume won’t get you the internship or job, but the payoff is you won’t shoot yourself in the foot.

7. Lack of numbers. Recruiters are strictly looking for candidates who can provide value to their organization if hired. When you don’t have statistics of your “excellent results” at a previous work experience, these results are hard for the recruiter to believe.

Think about it yourself, what resume line looks more impressive to you:

1) Excellent results in sales and building client base.

2) Exceeded sales quota by 127% while adding 7 new client accounts.

Solution: Take the opportunity to quantify every detail you can on your resume. Percentages, numerical comparisons to a previous year, and any positive figure will improve your resume.

If you’re presently in a position, then it’s acceptable to use projections and estimates. But, be sure to update these lines when they come to fruition.

8. Too little or too much information. Some resumes fail by only extending three-fourths of a page, and others fail by having two full pages with every activity the applicant has ever done.

The short resume doesn’t give recruiters enough information and leaves off interesting details that would have helped the candidate. And the two page resume shows a lack of concision and organization.

Solution: Make your resume a one-page document with text extending from the top to the bottom. This one-page structure will help you balance your impressive experiences while making every word on the resume count.

The following two resumes mistakes aren’t from the document itself, but what you do with your resume.

9. Apply for multiple positions in one organization. Want to look like a desperate applicant with no other options? Then apply to multiple positions within the same organization.

This looks bad to companies because you come off as being hopeless and indecisive of what you want. Organizations are looking for confident and decisive candidates, not the former.

Solution: For a safe rule, apply and submit your resume to only one position at each organization. In unique situations, it may be acceptable to apply to two positions in different cities, but that’s rare and could still confuse the hiring manager.

Spend the extra time that would have gone to more applications, to write a better resume and prepare your interview answers.

10. Only blast your resume on job boards. Because it’s easy to apply 50 jobs in under an hour, some candidates think they’re beating the process by working smarter, not harder. But, the reason they’re wrong is because the rest of the world does the same thing.

This method of job hunting is similar to playing the lottery. And how many times have you won the lottery? Exactly.

Solution: Uploading your resume and applying to companies through your university’s job board is a good move. However, don’t stop there. Get your networking on.

Start calling everyone you know who may be able to help your job search. This list includes your friends, parents, professors, and whoever else you have a relationship with. Tell them the industry, the specific companies, and what job you want.

Go on to ask employees who work at the organization you want to for coffee. Understand how they got the position and what advice they have for you (never ask them for a job). The more people you get in contact with, the greater chance they can help you, or they know someone else who can help.

Since 99% of candidates don’t make the extra effort to network in this way, you are sure to find success.

Related: 11 Common Interview Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

If this post gave you valuable insight into the job search process and you want more information, then check this out:


Want to never work another day at a job you don’t like, so you can find your dream job? Check out my course Master The Resume that shows you a step-by-step system to do exactly that.



10 Careers For People Who Love Helping Others




Know you’re someone who loves serving others and is naturally inclined to that kind of work? A career that allows you to live your passion is just what you need.

For a lot of people starting off in the working world or looking for a new career, financial rewards are not the number one thing they are looking for.

Instead, they want a job that provides a sense of personal satisfaction through the feeling of helping others. These jobs are out there.

You have a whole host of jobs that put you in direct contact with those in need, whether this is through healthcare, education, charity or another option.

And then there are the jobs that provide a broader contribution to society including science and engineering.

So, let’s go through a list of 10 potential options if you are looking for a job that prioritizes helping others.

1) Teaching and Education

Education is a broad field that gives you the opportunity to impart your skills and knowledge onto others, whether these are children or adults.

Beyond the traditional primary and secondary school paths, there are also opportunities to teach at further education colleges or else children with special needs.

To qualify as a teacher, you will need a degree and a further year of hands-on training, but there are also opportunities such as youth work, childcare or becoming a teaching assistant.

Essentially, the knowledge that you are having a direct impact on people’s lives and you are helping them to develop themselves is immensely rewarding.

2) Nursing and Healthcare

As well as being able to serve others, nursing is a field that is always looking for new staff members so there will be no shortage of job opportunities. Just take a look at to find out more.

Beyond the range of hospital jobs that you can choose from, you could also find yourself working in a GP surgery, adult care centres or people’s homes, to name a few.

The launch of the nursing degree apprenticeship has been designed to make the career easier for people to enter, but obtaining a degree is still required to progress in this field.

Otherwise, there are plenty of other careers in healthcare apart from being a nurse including physiotherapy, midwifery or pharmacy.

3) Medicine

Although it takes a great deal of hard work and commitment to enter this career path in the first place, there is no doubt that working in medicine is one of the most rewarding options out there.

After all, you are helping people with their most important commodity; life.

As well as becoming involved in the day-to-day treatment of patients, there is also the option to go into the research side of the field and help develop groundbreaking medicine.

And there are also a wide range of medical specialties to choose from so you can decide on one that perfectly suits your interests.

On the down side, this tends to be a very demanding option that requires a lot of dedication to the role which can often impact work-life balance.

4) Social Work

Social work is a career that brings you into direct contact with some of the most vulnerable people in society.

Some of the most common include elderly people, adults with mental health issues and people with learning difficulties.

You will probably be required to get involved in some very tough situations including child protection, adoption or working with offenders. To become a full social worker, you will need to obtain a degree, but there are other non-degree options that give you the opportunity to work in this field in other capacities.

Be in the know that many of these jobs come along with high levels of anxiety and the need to work in some very challenging situations.

5) Emergency Services

Comprising of the police, ambulance and fire and rescue, the emergency services are three different career paths.

They all have in common the responsibility to directly respond to people in their most urgent time of need. And these tend to be very community-oriented jobs, as well as ones in which the tasks vary greatly.

There are a wide range of different options and entry levels for each of the three sectors we have mentioned.

The downside is that the working hours tend to be unstable and you are also likely to find yourself working on call.

But there is also a great sense of satisfaction in knowing that you are making a genuine difference to society.

6) Charity Work

There are all kind of career paths that are directly linked to the charity sector from fundraising to marketing.

You may find yourself directly interacting with people or you may be in a more office-based role, but either way, you will have the knowledge that you are closely involved in helping others.

Jobs are open for both graduates and non-graduates, and there are also plenty of voluntary opportunities as well.

If you know that you are directly involved in a field that you are passionate about, this is a fantastic and motivating feeling that can give you immense job satisfaction. Keep in mind you may have to work your way up from the bottom to get there or come into the sector from a different career path entirely.

7) Law

You may not naturally associate a career in law with one which is helping people, but there are some options which give you the opportunity to give a voice to people without one.

For example, you could go down a career in criminal defence in which you support people who have been accused of crimes.

You could also become involved in the child protection side of law in which you help children in very vulnerable situations. Solicitors and barristers are the jobs that grab most of the headlines, but there are also plenty of entry-level positions that all you to work your way up.

Ultimately, you need to be selective about the type of job you are going for so that you have the feeling that you are helping people and making a genuine difference to their lives.

8) Science and Engineering

Though a lot of science and engineering careers are less about helping people on a daily basis, they are often involved in making the big societal changes that make all the difference in the long run.

For example, in a science career role, you could be involved in protecting the environment or developing new health treatments for people.

Plenty of engineering paths also lead to positive changes for people such as developing renewable energy sources.

Again, it is all about being selective with your career choice so you go for one that provides you with the maximum amount of job satisfaction and the feeling that you are really helping people.

9) Public Service

Though people who work in politics often have a bad reputation, many people do enter this particular career path because they want to help others.

The work that you are doing could impact the entirety of the country, even though whether you are in contact with them directly or not depends on what job role you go into.

So, if you are particularly passionate about the community you live in, a career in local government could be the ideal solution.

Alternatively, you could work in central government and choose between all the different major areas such as pensions, healthcare, education and justice. Job roles are varied so you could be coming in from a wide range of backgrounds.

But if you progress high up the career ladder, stress levels can rise accordingly as you are having to make the decisions that really impact people’s lives.

10) Psychology

Psychology still remains a rapidly developing field. And the increasing focus on mental health in society means that there are more options than ever before becoming available.

Some of the most common branches of psychology that people enter include health, clinical, counselling, educational and forensic.

Like other job roles we have talked about already, you have the reward of knowing that you are directly helping people who are struggling with a range of complex issues.

Final Words

The 10 career paths we have talked about are just some of the potential options you have if you are looking to get into a career that involves helping others.

While some require a great deal of training and study, others can be entered at any stage.

Essentially, you should think about where your passions lie before matching yourself up to one of these options.

It may be that you want to come into contact with people directly and feel like you are helping people in this way. It may be that you like the idea of contributing to wider societal changes that help people in the long-run.

Whatever the case, many people find that personal rewards and job satisfaction from one of these types of career outweigh the financial incentives of other paths.

Though if you work your way up, you still have an excellent opportunity to strike the perfect balance of finding a job that is rewarding in both senses of the word.

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High Risk Career Choices That Could Pay Off Big




Are you the type of person who enjoys adrenaline and high-risk, high-reward opportunities? You’ll probably fit perfectly in one of these risky career fields below.

Career choices are never easy. Whether you’re a high schooler, a college kid, a young professional, or a middle aged adult, it’s difficult but crucial you find the right job.

A large portion of your happiness and future depend on it.

While there’s advice all over about how to find the right career based on your personality, sometimes this can lead to overthinking and feeling paralyzed on what to do next.

It’s best to know yourself and trust your gut when it comes to making the right career choice.

Since every choice you make in life will come with its own risk that it may not pay off, sometimes the ones with the most risk are the ones worth risking everything for to be happy.

For the risk-takers out there who need to have a sense of fulfillment in their work, the following high risk jobs could be right up your alley.

Starting Your Own Business

If there’s one career move that a lot of us will want to make, but can often be afraid of, it’s starting a business from scratch.

Starting your own business will always be a risk. Even when you have the capital, a solid business plan, and a lot of experience in your field; you can never guarantee that it’s going to work out.

But if you’re willing to work hard and work at it, it’s a risk that can often pay off.

Becoming A Freelancer

Similarly, choosing to leave job security and go freelance can also be risky business (albeit less than starting your own business), but it’s often worth it.

The risk of going freelance is real and it will also depend on how well you are at adjusting to freelance life. Work won’t always be handed to you; you have to chase it. The investment you need to give here is both your heart and time.

By putting everything you’ve got into going freelance, you should see success.

Working In Another Country

When you do own your own business, or if you have a side project that you’re working on, there may be a time that you decide to go international. And there are always risks associated with this move.

When you’re moving into a market that you don’t know and that you have no experience in, there is a greater chance that you fail.

If you can do your research and plan your entry carefully, the potential successes will always be worth the risk.

Real Estate Investing

There’s always the option to turn to real estate investing.

If you’ve wanted to start a career for yourself that you can operate alongside your work, for the time being, property investment is a strong option.

Whether you look into buy to let options, BTO, or decide to start flipping properties, you have the potential to earn more money than you know what to do with on your own.

Many beginner investors need to first just build up capital, and then be willing to patiently wait until the property and price is right.

Becoming A Professor

When you’re starting out on your career path and still in college, or considering going back to study for your graduate degree, you may consider becoming a professor.

This is a risk for two reasons.

Firstly, the cost of getting your doctorate can’t be ignored. Debt and risk go hand in hand together.

And secondly, the idea that you’re missing out on being in the working world and getting paid a high salary for your skills.

Now if you make it through academia to become a professor and earn tenure, then your job security will be at an all-time high and career risk at an all-time low.

Becoming A Doctor

For those considering becoming a doctor, you may wonder if it is entirely worth it.

Medical education is long, challenging, and expensive.

So you have to be able to analyze the cost vs. the reward relationship when it comes to training to become a doctor.

If you’re skilled, passionate, and willing to work hard, you should be able to both out-work and out-earn your student debt before you know it.

Training As A Pilot

As far as adventurous careers go, if you want to enjoy job security and a good salary at the same time, you’re often limited with choice.

However, a strong option would be to train as a pilot.

Of course there are risks with any kind of job like this, but you should find that although the training is costly, the salary you receive in return will repay your investment, and your security will shatter any risk.

You’ll also gain the flexibility to fly commercial or private, which can’t be said in many careers.

Joining The Army

An army job does not need as much of an investment upfront in terms of experience or money, but it does require a few years of your life.

Although some positions will require a college education like an army officer, it’s not required across entry-level positions. Out of all the options on this list, this one may be the easiest to begin.

Keep in mind a career within the army may prove a risk to your life at times, but the security, skills training and experience may make it the best investment you could make.

Working For The Government

You may also want to consider joining the government.

Working for the federal government, although not a risk in itself (depending on your role) can be worth the investment in your education that you may need to make.

You will often benefit from great working rewards and enjoy a varied working day, especially if you decide to go into an intelligence field.

Mentoring Others

At some point in your career, you may also want to think about going into mentorship.

Mentoring is often a great way to give back to the industry and encourage bright talent for the future, although it can mean you have to give up your time with very little financial gain in return.

Often times mentors find that the personal rewards make any risk you take entirely worth it.

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5 Best Future Careers, And 5 That Will Disappear




If you’re going to look for a new career, why not consider the best future careers to make sure that job is going to be as profitable in 20 years as it is now?

There’s a whole bunch of careers that are set to disappear as organizations become more dependent on computers and automation to do the heavy legwork for them.

Some experts think that somewhere in the region of 47% of jobs might be lost over the coming decades. That’s absurd if you think about this for a minute!

If you’re looking for a career that will stay relevant, you’d have your head on straight if you considered picking a field from the five we’ve listed below—and avoiding the five industries listed below them.

Good Future Careers

1. Cyber Security

The world’s going to be even more reliant on internet systems than it is now. With the arrival of the “internet of things”, it’s going to be all around us, a part of everything we do.

This, naturally, will make the criminals of the world pay attention – and as such, as our reliance on these systems grows, so will the importance of staying one step ahead of the people looking to hack and causing mischief.

If you know how to keep these attacks at bay, you’ll be high in demand in the corporate or government sector.

2. Tech Development

Well now, the whole world isn’t going to become dependent on technology just by chance: there’s going to be people behind those systems, working hard to find the next great breakthrough and push the world forward.

It’s important to note that not all IT based jobs will be safe; the market for app development jobs, for example, is likely to wind down.

However, if you can train yourself in advanced technology systems and make sure you’re always at the cutting edge of what’s happening, you’ll find plenty of work.

3. Data Analyst

Data is already used to influence companies much more than you probably realize, but it’s set to become even bigger in the next decade and beyond.

There’s already more data than any company could need, but there’s a problem: there aren’t enough people who know how to interpret the data.

If you’ve got an eye for spotting trends and can make sense of large quantities of information, then look at becoming a data analyst. Computers won’t be able to make sense of it on their own (in the beginning at least): it’ll need the human touch.

4. Healthcare

And talking of a human touch; healthcare is another industry that will be kept safe from computers.

Of course, automation and AI will form a significant part of healthcare, but it’ll work in conjunction with health professionals, not replace them.

Don’t worry if you don’t like the thought of dealing with blood and other healthcare hazards; there are plenty of specialized jobs available that are just as safe.

If we take a look at the job prospects for a radiologist via, we can see that it’s a future proof career option; demand for this job, along with other physicians, is due to grow by 24% over the next few years.

Some jobs just can’t be performed by a machine, and healthcare is right at the top of the list.

5. Social Care

There’ll also be plenty of jobs in an industry that can be considered the cousin of healthcare, social care.

Again, there will be elements of technology incorporated into the industry, but it’ll be working alongside the core workers, rather than replacing them, as the very essence of this type of work depends on human interaction.

And this market won’t just be safe because computers can’t take over: it’s a growing industry in its own right.

In the not too distant future, people aged 70 and over are going to form the biggest age group in the country, and there’ll need more people than there currently are to take care of them.

Bad Future Careers

1. Number Crunching

If you’ve got a knack for mathematics and producing reports and paperwork, then look away now, because this is one surprising career that is likely to shrink in importance in the forthcoming years.

While it currently requires a high degree of expertise, a slew of applications that will more or less automate the entire process are already here, and there will be more on the way, too.

Though traditional companies still rely on human hands to take care of these jobs, modern companies are using machines to take care of their account, bookkeeping, tax returns, and so on, and it’ll be these companies who dominate the future.

2. Global Knowledge

The rapid globalization of the economy has meant it’s been a golden age for workers who were able to navigate different cultures and languages.

While we’re still a ways off from not needing tour guides with specialized, in-depth knowledge, the abundance of apps and other smartphone related tools will shrink this industry over time.

At a more immediate risk are translators, who will have to compete with software that automatically translates languages. The tech isn’t quite there yet, but it is coming, and from then it’ll only be the highly sensitive translations that are done by humans.

3. Non-Artistic Writing

Now, there’s little chance a computer will take the place of a novelist anytime soon. That’s just not going to happen because art is inherently human.

However, writing that isn’t obviously artistic, such as web content, technical reports, and (gasp) newspaper articles will increasingly be written by machines.

Some news outlets already use bots to write their weather reports, and it has been reported (by humans) that robots are more and more responsible for what we’re reading online and in our newspapers.

4. Logistics

The entire logistics industry is about to be turned upside down, as nearly all components can be performed by a robot. Machines will be responsible for the running of warehouses, packaging, and delivery, with little to no human hands helping them along the way.

For a glimpse into the future, look no further than Amazon’s delivery plans. Welcome to the future!

5. Broadcaster

According to studies, broadcasters score some of the lowest when it comes to job growth, stress, and work environment.

This makes sense since competition has to be high for these limited roles and job security is not going to be strong when a media company can quickly fill a broadcasting role with another talking head.

It’s also difficult to find that first broadcasting job as radio stations become syndicated and the Internet gobbles up more music and sports positions.

These are just a few of industries where humans will have more or less importance in the future. So if you’re looking for a change of career, make sure it’s one for the future!

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