Resume Mistakes

Do not let these resume mistakes happen to you

Mistakes can quickly take your resume from terrific to trash. There is no need for your resume to look "trashy" either, when it is completely avoidable.

It is very important to present your credentials in the most amazing way possible so that the employer can't help but call you for an interview. That means you have to avoid resume mistakes at all costs. Remember that you are competing against other job candidates for those job openings, so you have to make sure your resume looks better than theirs does, ok?

Of course, all of this make sense, and yet, resumes end up on the desks of human resources personnel every day that are distinctive in their LACK OF ATTENTION TO DETAIL.

You want your resume to make a positive impression on prospective employers, be sure you pay attention to the list below. There can be NO MISTAKES on your resume if you want employers to take you seriously.

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If you want to make a great first impression, create a resume that looks good, is easy to read and focuses on meeting the employer's needs..

Avoid these resume mistakes

Here, in no particular order, are the most-cited reasons that resumes end up in the reject pile without being given more than a cursory glance. These kinds of resume mistakes are completely avoidable, too.


Proofread your material. Proofread it again. Spell check it. Request assistance from your neighbors, friends, family and anyone else you can find to review your resume for you. Ask them to look for typos and grammar mistakes. Have them read it for "tense consistency" (be sure everything is presented in the same tense). Look in the heading as well as in the text itself. If you have a typo anywhere, it's bad, but if you have a typo in your phone number, it's catastrophic.

Font Faults

Do not use small fonts. Avoid using too many different fonts. An employer is going to scan your resume, not fully read it. If the type is hard to read or is difficult to follow, no one is going to spend any time on it at all. Keep the type at least at a 10 point and use one font. Make it easy on the person who is going to be reading it. Use a common font and a size of no smaller than 10. Use white space effectively to give your reader's eyes a break every now and then, too.

Buried Skills

If your resume highlights job duties, but omits the actual skills you have mastered or the accomplishments you have made, the person who reads it – ahem… scans it - will not recognize your special talents and abilities. Big mistake. Ensure that you focus your attention on what you have to offer as opposed to what your responsibilities were in your past jobs. Whenever possible, quantify your statements with numbers. Instead of saying you helped the distribution center organize its processes, state "HOW" you helped them accomplish this. Be specific and use numbers to quantify your achievements whenever possible. Vague assertions have no value. Speak about results in a measurable, definable way. Increased sales by 20% over the previous quarter. Reduced theft in retail outlet by 15% in the first 2 months of being hired. That is a measurable difference. It is easier to relate to and employers are always looking for people who can make quantifiable improvements.

Format focus vs Content focus

Do not get so wrapped up in the way the resume is supposed to LOOK that you forget to respond to what it is supposed to SAY. You can use the fanciest font in a creative new format, but if you do not concentrate your efforts on the words you use, the employer will not care how the resume looks. Do not make this mistake. You don’t get an interview based on a cute resume. You get an interview based on whether or not the employer believes you can do the job well. Use action words whenever possible to enhance the information you present.

Wordy, Verbose, Lengthy, Effusive, Protracted, Loquacious, Rambling, Long-Winded…

Make your statements clear and concise.

Incorrect Information

Proofreading is not just for the body of the resume, it is also for your heading, your objective statement and so on. Proofread everything. Are your dates accurate? Look for continuity throughout the text. Does everything flow nicely. Read your resume aloud and listen for statements that don't roll off the tongue easily. It might be a clue that something should be revised.

Cheap or Colored Paper

You can design the most amazing resume ever, but if you print it on lavender paper hoping it will get noticed, you will waste a lot of pretty paper that could be better used for writing your aunt or grandmother. The colors you should use for your paper are: White, off white, off off white. Do you see a trend? Also, spend a few extra dollars and buy GOOD, QUALITY paper. Forget the floppy, wimpy copy paper. Get some 24 lb paper with a watermark or something of superior quality. It will make a much better impression – and that is what this whole process is all about, right?

  • Resume Mistakes detract from your credentials.
  • Resume Mistakes reflect on you personally.
  • Resume Mistakes take you out of the running.

If you want to get an interview, you have to present yourself as a professional. Show the employer that you are detail oriented and willing to go the extra mile to ensure success for yourself and the organization you work for. In order to do this, every piece of paper with your name on it has to be as good as it can possibly be.

Doesn't it make sense to present your credentials in the most amazing way possible so that the employer can't help but call you for an interview?

If you want to see some additional resume mistakes to avoid, click here for Resume Do's and Dont's

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