8 Common Resume Mistakes you Should Avoid
By avoiding these common resume mistakes, you’ll improve the quality of your resume and increase the odds that your application rises to the top of the stack.
- Inconsistent fonts, spacing, or formatting (e.g. bolding some job titles and not others) convey a lack of attention to detail
- Unusually large or small fonts can annoy the reader
- Massive walls of texts will make it difficult for anyone to skim your resume. (And most people who read resumes skim them)
- The way you save your resume can affect its readability. If you’re submitting it as an email attachment, make sure it’s saved as a PDF so the formatting isn’t lost when it’s opened. If you’re submitting via an ATS program, save it as a .doc or .txt to reduce the risk of your resume being rejected by the system
Typos and Grammatical Errors
Your resume needs to be grammatically perfect. If it isn’t, employers will read between the lines and draw not-so-flattering conclusions about you, like: “This person can’t write,” or “This person obviously doesn’t care.”
One of the most common goofs we see is an incorrect email address. Since most job search efforts are centered around email communications, having an email address that is wrong or difficult to interpret can be a major pothole in the road to success. Double-check your email address to make sure it is correct. Don’t use your work email address on your resume, and try to avoid having an email that has the number 1 in it as it can be difficult to tell if it’s a letter or a numeral. Avoid goofy or cutesy email monikers such as “vanhalenlvr83” or similar. Email systems that use automated spam authenticators are loathed by recruiters and line managers alike, so stay away from them during your job search.
The 1-Page Resume
One page resumes are long gone unless you are a new graduate without much experience.
Having said that, we still see plenty of one page resumes for more senior job seekers come in for critiques — and it does surprise me! When a job seeker tries to limit the content of the resume to fit into one page, he/she is cutting vital information to adhere to a “rule” that is not valid for most resumes. Many resumes (including mid-level) are two pages in length and three pages are acceptable for some senior level candidates.
Giving Everyone the Same Resume
This may come as a surprise to some job seekers, but your resume is not one-size-fits-all (jobs). “No two roles are alike—and your resumes shouldn’t be either,” says Hargett.
CareerBuilder’s survey found that 36% of employers identified resumes that are too generic as one of the mistakes that may lead them to automatically dismiss a candidate.
One more—perhaps obvious—note: Don’t save versions of your resume with a file name that makes it obvious that you’ve submitted a particular version: For example, janedoeresumemarketing or janedoeresumesales. Just keep it simple and save the file as your name.
Irrelevant Work Experiences.
Yes, you might have been the “king of making milkshakes” at the restaurant you worked for in high school. But, unless you are planning on redeeming that title, it is time to get rid of all that clutter.
Career expert and founder of career consulting firm Resume Strategists, Alyssa Gelbard, points out, however, past work experience that might not appear to be directly relevant to the job at hand might show another dimension, depth, ability, or skill that actually is relevant or applicable.
Only include this experience if it really showcases additional skills that can translate to the position you’re applying for.
Don’t include your marital status, religious preference, or social security number.
This might have been the standard in the past, but all of this information is now illegal for your employer to ask you, so there’s no need to include it.
Nobody cares. If it’s not relevant to the job you’re applying for, it’s a waste of space and a waste of the company’s time.