The Dos and Don’ts of Resume Writing: Common Mistakes to Avoid and Best Practices to Follow

Resume Writing

Resume Writing

In today’s saturated job market, having a well-written resume has become a must. With the latest technology, writing a resume is something that should have gotten easier. However, it seems as if we are going backwards, because the more revolutionized technology becomes, the more complex it has become to write a resume. To solve this issue, this article will provide you with the dos and don’ts to create a resume that will allow you to have a competitive advantage over others.


#1 – Optimization of Applicant Tracking Systems

Applicant Tracking Systems, also known as ATS, is a computer software that most companies use to sort and filter out large volumes of resumes they receive. Optimizing your resume according to ATS technology has become a must, and most job seekers aren’t even aware of the impact of this technology on their chance of getting noticed by the recruiter.

The ATS software basically scans your resume and identifies the contextual keywords and phrases used in the resume. Then they mathematically score these keywords and phrases according to their relevance, and the resumes of the most competent candidates are then sent further for human review.

#2 – Localization and Targeting

Make sure that your CV reflects the localization for the country where you are applying for. For instance if you are applying for Dubai, you need to follow the format acceptable by Dubai recruitments agencies. A local survey on resumes writing services in Dubai shows that 90% of these services are using a format specifically created for Dubai & UAE. These resumes are also highly specific to the job or industry for which the person intended to use them.

#3 – Include Personal Accomplishments

If you have achieved something incredible, such as an award or a title that has increased your skillset, then you should definitely include these achievements in your resume. Even if you have been in a marathon, you should include that in your resume, because that would reflect that you are adventurous and also a challenger.

#4 – Powerful Verbs

Powerful verbs are verbs that are more descriptive and more impactful than other words. Using powerful verbs elevates your resume instantly, for example instead of using prepared, try using devised or formulated. Similarly, instead of using the word ‘managed’ repeatedly, try using administered or supervised.

However, you should be careful not to overdo it. Do not use irrelevant or have too many powerful verbs in your resume as that will negatively impact the quality of your resume.

#5 – Keeping it on One Page

A recruiter receives hundreds to thousands of resumes, and they don’t have time to read every resume carefully and thoroughly, they mainly skim through the main information. Therefore, keep things concise and captivating, use the most relevant information, and remove all the extra details if not needed.

#6 – Use Digits

This might sound somewhat pointless, but using digits is quite effective. Reading digits is more captivating than using words. Try reading ‘42%’ and ‘forty-two percent’, which looks more easier to read?

#7 – Be Creative

If you want to stand out from the crowd, try being creative with your resume. Resumes that include infographics, data visualization, or multimedia tools have a higher chance to be noticed by the recruiter.

However, it is important to note that you shouldn’t overdo the creative part, you have to be creative and professional simultaneously.

#8 – Create a Master Resume

Many people make one huge mistake while writing a resume which is not creating a master resume. A master resume should include all your work experiences, skills, accomplishments, general information, etc. It is very helpful when creating multiple resumes for different positions because people usually forget what they need to include in the resume, but if they have a master resume, then that process could become a lot easier.


#1 – Never Lie

The first Don’t of resume writing is to never lie. Always stick to the truth and avoid lying on your resume. People generally boast on their resume about their work experience, accomplishments, or qualifications. It might seem helpful in the short run, but in the long run, it could seriously damage your response rate or even career.

#2 – Avoid Using Jargon or Clichés

People use the most common phrases in their resumes, such as hard worker, team player, etc. and if you want your resume to stand out from the others, then you have to avoid using these phrases. Try to be more specific about the skill, so that the recruiter enjoys reading your resume.

#3 – Never write “References Upon Request”

The most common mistake many candidates make is to include “References Upon Request” in their resumes. It is a very contradicting and overconfident statement, and many recruiters don’t like these statements to be included in the candidate’s resume. If you have included this phrase in your resume, remove it right away.

#4 – Don’t Offer Yourself to be Discriminated

Even though it is illegal to discriminate against any job candidate because of their race, color, age, gender, nationality, religion, and marital status, it doesn’t mean that you have to include all the information in your resume. Just cancel out the basic details from your resume, and leave it for the recruiter to ask from you.

#5 – Don’t Use More than 2 Fonts

Don’t try to distract the recruiter by using stylish fonts. It looks very professional if you stick to one basic font, but if you have experience in typography or have know-how on managing different fonts, then you can take the risk, if not then simply avoid it. Most people cram too many font styles on just one page, which looks distracting, as well as highly unprofessional.

#6 – No Word Documents

Avoid sending Word documents to the recruiters, try sending through the pdf version. Word Documents could result in getting the format misaligned, and that would leave a very bad impression on the recruiter.

Nowadays there are so many websites and tools through which you can easily create an attractive and engaging resume through pdf versions. You don’t have to stick to using a Word document for creating a resume, try upgrading your resume to a new level with the array of resources available online.


These tips will surely help you in creating a long-lasting impression on the recruiter. If you want your resume to stand out from the crowd, make sure that you follow all the above tips while creating a resume next time.