07/29/2020 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

Good to Great: Resume “Mistakes” to Avoid

red pen open to correct an upside down resume

It should be easy to prepare a great resume. After all, what more is a resume than an accurate listing of your education, experience, and interests? How hard can it be to create a resume that “sells” you?

As it turns out, it can be pretty hard.

Creating a killer resume requires more than a penchant for making lists. Your resume is the first representation of you that most hiring contacts will see; make it pop with information your employer will want to read—and leave him or her wanting to know more.

The picture below demonstrates a fairly standard portion of a resume from a recent college graduate. The resume-maker listed her experience in reverse-chronological order and included separate sections for her education, work experience, and volunteer work. Her experience seems fairly typical, and there are no glaring errors. But at first glance, would this resume demonstrate that this student is passionate about teaching?


We took a “red pen” to the resume to take it from good to great. This resume can make its owner shine as a passionate, motivated teacher—just by adding a few details and rearranging the structure.

While it can be tempting to arrange a resume in chronological order, if have fewer years of classroom experience (or no actual in-class experience at all, as in this example), you can take the liberty of listing your experience out of order. This student, for example, could have included a section entitled “Teaching Experience” after “Education.” There, she could have cherry-picked the relevant experience that has become buried in the current version of her resume. That section could have looked something like this:


When listing your experience, organize your descriptions of each event in the best possible way. Put your most important tasks and accomplishments first. Creating a good resume is like crafting an excellent cover letter of personal statement—it’s all about anticipating what the employer will want to read.

Are you an educator looking for your next job opportunity? Carney Sandoe is a free job search service for educators. Learn more about what we do here.

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