5 Common Resume Mistakes

Pause breath resume tiles

Having a great resume is key to being successful in your job search. Your resume is typically the first impression an employer has of you, so it’s important that it properly represents you. To help, we’ve listed 5 common resume mistakes that job hunters make.

Pause breath resume tiles

1. Spelling and grammar mistakes

  • The most common resume mistakes are errors in spelling and grammar. Errors like this are easiest way to get your resume rejected because employers are likely to assume you are careless or sloppy in your work.
  • Make sure to edit your resume several times before submitting it. It also helps to have someone else read it over, a new set of eyes are more likely to pick up on any small resume mistakes.

2. Length

  • While it’s important that your resume is not excessively long, you should not exclude relevant work experience just to fit everything on one page. You don’t want a potential employer to discount you because you left off relevant experience.
  • At the same time, you don’t need to include every position you’ve had since the beginning of your career. Some of your past jobs might not be relevant to the current position you are applying for. Feel free to leave off the coffee bar you worked at through grad school if you have more relevant experience to include.
  • You also want to avoid having too short of a resume. If you are a recent college grad or just out of high school and have only worked at one or two positions, try to expand upon your responsibilities to lengthen your work history. Also, you can include extracurricular activities you participated in if the experience you gained seems relevant to your career.

3. Too much personal information

  • Employers are going to hire you based on your work experience, not on your favorite hobbies. It is a common resume mistake to have a “Personal Interests” category. In a job interview, if your interviewer mentions their love of volleyball, then that would be an appropriate time to mention you share the same interest.
  • It’s not necessary to mention your marital status or children on your resume. Again, a potential employer is only interested in your professional background.
  • Don’t include your picture on your resume. The exception is if you are applying for an acting or modeling role.

Writing a resume

4. Too busy

  • Another common resume mistake is using more than two fonts. Keep it simple, so that an employer’s eye can easily follow your work history down the page. There is no need to go crazy with bold and italicized fonts in different colors.
  • Avoid using borders and underlines to separate sections on your resume. As long as you have everything labeled appropriately, an employer will be able to understand it.

5. Missing critical information

  • Make sure the header of your resume includes your full name, phone number and email address. You can also include a link to your LinkedIn profile or your address. If an employer doesn’t have your contact information, they won’t be able to reach you to set up an interview or offer you a job.
  • Always list the month and year you started and finished each position on your resume. Job seekers avoid adding dates to their work history for various reasons, but this is a huge resume mistake! Omitting dates makes employers feel that you are hiding something.
  • List the appropriate job title for each of your positions. New employers will most likely get employment verifications on your work history, so it’s important you have all the correct information. If there is a discrepancy with your job title or dates of employment, your new employer will be suspicious.
  • Lastly, one of the biggest common resume mistakes is leaving off software or programs that you’ve used. Be sure to list these, especially since an employer may be screening resumes electronically, and you don’t want to be overlooked because of what you left out.

Keep these five easily avoidable resume mistakes on hand next time you update your resume and you’ll be sure to land a great job in no time!

WAI Staff

Whitman Associates is a professional staffing agency serving businesses and job seekers in the Washington, D.C. area. Since 1972, we’ve been dedicated to matching highly qualified candidates with a wide variety of temporary, temp-to-hire and permanent positions. We prioritize the needs of both our clients and candidates to ensure successful, lasting relationships.