TOP 11 resume mistakes: why you won’t be invited to an interview

According to Statista, every American changes jobs once every five years on average. In Europe, including Ukraine, these statistics are not too different. Every adult between the ages of 19 and 35 has gone through the following stages of a job search at least 3 times:

  • compiling a resume;
  • selection of vacancies;
  • passing interviews;
  • passing the probationary period.

Today we will discuss in detail the typical mistakes in writing a resume, and also tell you what needs to be done to correct them.

1. Spelling and grammar mistakes

The first thing that scares an employer or HR specialist is grammatical and spelling errors. For example, Google uses special software for the first stage of resume selection. This software automatically excludes resumes with errors from the list for review by specialists. After writing, check your resume for errors and correct them before submitting it.

2. Apply for 2-3 positions at once

Considering different areas for work is normal, but it is important to remember that the specialist reviewing your resume, in 90% of cases, will offer only one position corresponding to the open vacancy. In this case, it is advisable to have a separate resume for each position.

3. Wrong resume length

A resume that is too short will raise suspicions that you do not have the necessary experience. Too long a resume reveals unnecessary details. Trying to fully fit your work experience, training data, list of skills, and contacts on one page, you risk deleting important information. If you wrote a resume longer than 3 pages, you need to think about shortening it. According to the editors of the international edition of Forbs, up to two pages of a resume are most easily perceived.

4. Wrong photo selection

The photo that you have chosen for your resume must meet several criteria:

  • in the photo you are looking at the camera;
  • you smile slightly;
  • you can be seen no more than to the waist;
  • the photo was taken against a neutral background.

Agree, that showing a photo from the beach, in a swimsuit or swimming trunks, will be more difficult for you to prove that you are a good programmer. And by adding a photo where you are not alone, you can get a refusal, because the company considers you personally for a vacancy, and not all your friends.

5. There are no facts that will confirm your experience and skills

If you’re new and don’t have actual work experience yet, it’s okay to write about skills. However, even the fact of having basic skills can be confirmed by passing the training. Recruitment specialists usually check the correspondence of facts and skills very carefully.

6. False information provided

Lying does not bode well for you. Usually, HR specialists and recruiters check the basic facts, and in case of discrepancy with the declared ones, they will refuse you an interview. The truth is always better than fiction because it will not have negative consequences for your future.

7. Personal information provided

How many children do you have, what brand of car do you prefer, what competitions do you watch and what kind of music do you listen to – all this, as well as other personal facts about you, can only be perceived as media noise. If personal preferences, facts about the family, or tastes are not a criterion for your suitability for the position, it is better to refuse them, paying more attention to professional skills and a description of your achievements in the previous job.

8. Missing Achievements

Achievements in the resume are one of the most important criteria in the initial selection of candidates. Achievements are, in general, any project that has been completed by you and has benefited the company. For example:

  • successful developments;
  • 200% increase in sales;
  • organization of interaction between branches;
  • increase website traffic by 100%;
  • selection of a team and its successful support;
  • other achievements.

So you show your performance in two sentences. And this is much more important than the schedule of staying at the workplace, or the endless list of duties. Show off your real successes, do not let this piece of glory be taken from you.

9. No goals

Before writing a resume, you must clearly understand what you want. Vague goals will make you a very vague candidate. Any purpose of the resume consists of answers to the questions:

Who? Answer what your specialty is (only be honest).
Where? Tell in what area you want to get a job and what position.
When? Reply when you’re ready to get started.
How? Answer how much you want to receive per month of work.

An example of a goal from the data in the summary:

Web Developer, junior programmer at a GameDev company, ready to start in a week, rate $1000 per month.

10. Portfolio and links to projects are missing

Most universities and IT courses provide training using real projects. This allows students to create their portfolio of work, which may include: a game, a useful application, a website, a chatbot, and other types of software. The main thing here is to have samples of work because they will become the decisive factor during the interview.

11. Don’t write a cover letter

In some job postings, you’ve probably seen candidates ask for additional information in their cover letters, such as adding a GitHub link, social media, portfolio, or completed test. In most job openings, recruiters usually do not indicate the need for a cover letter, leaving it up to the candidate. We recommend that you still write a cover letter for your CV and answer the following questions in it:

Why should the company choose me?
What additional skills can I apply at work?
Why do I want to work for this company?

The answers to these questions will help the HR specialist evaluate your loyalty to the company, get to know you better, and immediately highlight your advantages over other candidates.


A CV is your face to the employer. You can create the best resume according to your mom, friend, or wife, but you should always check your resume against the checklist of these 11 potential mistakes from the editors of the Job Advice Agency. This will help you impress the HR specialist and get an invitation to an interview.

We are professionals and we will pay attention to errors in the resume. IT recruiting agency Job Advice has been helping companies find the best candidates in the IT direction for many years, selecting them in several stages. And familiarity with the resume is the most important of them.

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