Developer’s Guide: Mistakes to Avoid in a Resume

KOTELOV Globals
6 min readAug 2, 2023

Hello everyone! I’m Sofia, a Junior IT Recruiter at KOTELOV ✌🏼

If you’re eager to take your IT career to the global stage, a well-crafted resume is your golden ticket. Why is it so crucial? A strong resume is vital for advancing your IT career globally. It helps you stand out and make a lasting impression on recruiters and international clients.

A little bit about us: KOTELOV has been a trusted technology and software development partner to businesses, including start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 enterprises like Microsoft, Leroy Merlin, Schneider Electric, and many big shots for over a decade.

Over that last 6 months, I’ve had the chance to review over 3000 CV and interviewed over 250 candidates from countries like Argentina, Brazil, Romania, Poland, Montenegro, Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, and Thailand. With our team’s experience in sourcing candidates from global markets, we’ve helped developers to join exciting projects.

In this article, I’ll share common resume mistakes and offer universal tips for structuring your CV for the global market 🌍 Let’s dive in!

Repetitive Responsibilities

Think of your resumes like tickets to a show — a chance for you to showcase your talents and captivate our attention.

When responsibilities are repeated word-for-word for each experience, it leaves little room for you to showcase your versatility or the unique value you brought to each role.

Highlighting metrics in your resume is a game-changer. It’s gives recruiters solid proof of your skills, experience and accomplishments.

For example, I get that mistake a lot from QA Engineers, what I would advise is to include your achievements and make it quantitative. Like that:

“Developed and implemented a test automation strategy, resulting in a 50% reduction in manual testing time and a 30% increase in test coverage”.

Sounds better, right?

You can also use metrics such as: revenue, profit, or sales generated, increased (or reduced) x by y%, time saved, project/data size or time commitment.

There is also a great PAR method for writing your resume responsibilities. PAR stands for Problem, Action, and Result, where you describe a specific problem you faced, the action you took to address it, and the positive result or outcome that you achieved.

Check this article out to learn more about the PAR method.

No responsibilities at all

Another mistake is leaving out responsibilities altogether. Sure, it can be a drag to write out all your responsibilities and accomplishments, especially with 10+ years experience. But all you need is to include 4–6 bullet points, and you’ll make life easier for both you and the recruiters:)

Leaving responsibilities out might lead to loads of questions or no response at all. So, show off your skills and grab those opportunities

Not including technologies

Please, please include with which technologies you worked with under each project you mention. It helps us to identify if you could be a great fit to the position, since we’re looking for keywords in your resume.

Clean, simple and nice!

Chaotic design

When a candidate uses different fonts, SIZES, and styles, it creates visual confusion. From my experience, a cluttered design distracts from the content and makes it hard to find key information. Please make it readable for the recruiter, remember: you and I are on the same team

There is a cogntive trap, availability bias, where people heavily rely on easily accessible information to make judgments.

A messy and unorganized resume can be easily overlooked by recruiters. By choosing a visually appealing and well-structured format, you can make sure your resume gets the attention it deserves.

Here is the great order you can follow: contact information — short bio — tech skills — work experience — education & certifications

Below is one of my favorite resume templates, and we stick to this format when sharing the resume with our clients.

Inaccurate Contact Details

If a recruiter struggles to find accurate contact details, it’s akin to a game of hide and seek without a winner.

Don’t let a simple mistake become a roadblock in your job search.

Typos in your contact information can make it difficult, or even impossible, for recruiters to reach you. These mistakes can also trigger affect heuristics, a cognitive trap leading to quick judgments about your professionalism and attention to detail.

Please double-check your contact details, including your active LinkedIn page, email, and phone number linked to messaging apps like WhatsApp or Telegram.

Oversharing

Several times I got a resume over 15 pages, guys listed all of their relevant an irrelevant to the position experience, pet-projects, numerous links…it was a bit overwhelming.

There is a good universal rule: 10 years of experience counts as 1 page in a resume.

My advice is to include relevant to the job experience, if it’s not relevant I recommend to still include it but keep it short (company, title, position)

Me every time I get a resume over 10 pages and yes, I’m the big Office fan

Including a lot of personal information

There could be times when you’ll need to share sensitive information, but it’s rarely at the stage of a CV screening. Your resume should primarily highlight your work experience, education, skills, certifications, and any other qualifications directly related to the position you are applying for.

Please always keep in mind: sharing your sensitive info only per request and to the trustful sources. J.T. O’Donner wrote a great article about fake job postings. Check it out and be aware of those signs https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/6-warning-signs-job-posting-fake-jt-o-donnell/

My advice: It’s best to refrain from including sensitive personal details such as your home address, marital status, race, religion, political affiliation, or any other information that is not relevant to the job.

Let’s not use that as your bio — “I’m John, male, single, 183 cm height, 89 kg, Caucasian, have 2 adorable kids, Mathew and Alice. I’m an experienced frontend developer seeking new career opportunities”

I could go on and on about mistakes and tips; however, those, in my opinion, are the most important to avoid. Remember, your resume is your golden ticket to impressing recruiters. So, polish it up and let your skills shine:)

  • Check out our super-duper HR page
  • Follow our company’s page on LinkedIn to learn about our future open vacancies and news.
  • Reach out to me (Sofia Khairutdinova) if you have any questions or need help with your resume. Also, I will gladly share the template with you

P.S. In the next article, we’ll dive deeper into how these biases influence recruiters’ decisions and share strategies to overcome them. Stay tuned for an in-depth discussion on cognitive biases in recruitment.

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