Resumes come in every shape and form, which is why it can be very difficult to know exactly what to put on yours. In the first blog of our series ‘Ask the Recruiters’, we speak to experienced Recruiter and the Co-Founder of Discovered People, Ryan Halson. 

Ryan reveals some of the biggest faux pas and mistakes commonly found on resumes. While some may seem obvious, we think a few of these may surprise you. From spelling mistakes to oversharing, make sure that your resume doesn’t include any of these common issues Ryan lists below. 

Avoid Photos

‘You really do not need to have photos on your resume’ Ryan says. Explaining how it can unfortunately invite unwanted prejudice. ‘I’d really say to avoid photos at all costs, but if you really want to display it you can attach a link to your linkedin profile where people can see your profile picture there’.

Don’t Overshare 

‘Information like date of birth, how many children you have, drivers licence or passport number don’t belong on a resume’. Explaining how many of the candidates he’s seen over time tend to overshare important information that’s not really relevant at that stage of a job application. 

‘You only really need a phone and email contact on your resume. With additional things, such as LinkedIn, github or stack overflow for examples of work or your portfolio that add value to your profile.’

Although it feels like yesterday, chances are High School was a long time ago

According to Ryan, it turns out that adding things like your high school grades or the fact you were part of the choir don’t really matter or add anything on a resume (other than you have a great singing voice). 

‘For highly technical roles. I don’t think it’s relevant to have your high school results on a resume if you have one or more formal degrees.

Hobbies Help

A surprising addition to your resume, is to include your hobbies and interests. ‘Definitely have interests there. One of the main things I look at is a candidate’s hobbies to see what kind of person they are and if they’ll be a good match with the manager of the role they’re applying for.’

A main difference at Discovered People is we want to make sure we connect people and teams that are a cultural match also. ‘If both the candidate and manager have shared interests we know they’re more likely to get along and work together better’.

Spell Check Everything

This one is likely not a surprise, but clearly not said enough as it still happens pretty regularly. ‘It goes without saying that you need to spell check your resume. I personally use Grammarly as a way to have a second pair of eyes and proof of the work I do, I think it’s really helpful for resumes if you want to double check and be sure’. 

Short and Sweet Descriptions

‘The description of each technology you use doesn’t have to be super long’. Adds Ryan. ‘Keep these as short and relevant as possible, while making sure they only contain descriptions of skills you have recent experience in.’

‘If you worked with a technology over 10 years ago, don’t add it on your resume. If you worked with an old language 15-20 years ago, chances are your knowledge of it isn’t as strong as it once was. Worst case scenario you’re quizzed on it, have oversold yourself and the employer may then doubt your knowledge of all the other skills on your resume. 

Size Doesn’t Always Matter

While many people say to keep a resume to two pages, Ryan doesn’t necessarily agree with that. ‘Actual length of the resume isn’t a real issue, it’s more the information on that resume. If you’re trying to fit 10 years of really relevant experience into two pages, just make it longer. Even if it’s 4-5 pages of really relevant information I don’t see a problem with that’. 

The point he does raise is anything past 10 years old. ‘For anything before 2011, I’d really consider if it’s still relevant. If you still want to include it, just make sure it’s done as a shorter responsibilities section, just focusing on the client, job title and dates you were there’. 

Tailor It to the Role You’re Applying For

‘You should tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for’. Explains Ryan. ‘If you’re in a creative industry like design or marketing, show off your skills and make your resume stand out with things like infographics or creative design. However if you’re a backend developer or programmer, we don’t mind if it’s not the most creatively designed resume.’. 

At the end of the day, it’s all about how relevant the information you’ve put onto your resume is and how it shows you off as a candidate. 


Hopefully you don’t have to make too many edits to your resume after that, but we hope you’ve found some good advice on how to improve your resume. 

Looking for your next role? Get in touch with the Discovered team here to see our available roles. 


Written by Ebony McCabe for Discovered People


2020 has been a year of big changes for most people. If you’ve been lucky enough to keep the same job you had at the beginning of the year, there’s no doubt that many aspects of the role have likely changed since the pandemic started. If you’re one of the many that lost their jobs throughout the course of the year, there’s a possibility that you had to take on contract work or a role that perhaps wasn’t exactly what you’d been doing before.

No matter what the next step in your career is, or what your goals for 2021 are, it’s always good to have an up-to-date resume handy that properly represents your achievements as a professional.

So whether your 2021 goals are to find a new job, finally get that promotion or change career paths completely, we’ve put together our top 3 tips to make sure that your resume is ready for whatever 2021 holds. 


Personalise it to your future goals

A lot of people spent the forced downtime in 2020 completely reassessing what they wanted from a company, team, manager and ultimately where they wanted their career to go in the future. This could be within an existing industry or field, or a completely new one altogether. 

When writing a resume it’s always important to make sure it’s tailored to the job that you’re applying for. If you’ve had a change in role or industry, or intend on changing it in 2021, start personalising your resume to make sure that it fits the exact type of roles that you’ll be applying for. 

Add any new technologies you’ve worked with

I’m sure by now that everyone has seen the jokes about how the best leader of technological innovation in 2020 was COVID-19. There is no doubt that despite how awful the pandemic was/is, that one of the best positives to come from it was the forced shift to remote work, smart technology and companies having to learn how to effectively communicate and run online.

If you’ve become a webinar expert, video conference pro, learnt how to use a new program, technology or popular software throughout the pandemic, be sure to add it in the relevant skills section of your resume or LinkedIn profile. You may think that it’s just a piece of software or tech, but your ability to use a particular program or technology may be what separates you apart from the competition when going for other jobs or promotions. 

Include any new certifications or qualifications 

A lot of educational and learning organisations have been quite generous throughout the pandemic, offering free courses and certifications to up-skill your resume throughout lockdown. From Google to LinkedIn, Apple and TAFE there are a significant amount of companies offering free, or very cheap resources to become certified in a new area. 

Many of these free or reduced price courses are still available for you to take advantage of now. So, if you haven’t quite made the jump yet and picked up a new skill in 2020,  have no fear as there’s still a month until 2021 starts. Have a look at the list we prepared here and see how you can easily up-skill to improve your resume and impresses recruiters. 



Looking for your next role now? Get in touch with the Discovered People team here for a confidential chat. 


Written by Ebony McCabe for Discovered People