Common Resume Mistakes

 

  • Name and/or address is too small / too big (headings and name should be at least font size 14 to 16; address 11 or 12)
  • Font size for entire resume is too small / too big / all caps (not counting the headings, text should be no smaller than 11; no larger than 12)
  • Needs an 'Objective' or 'Title Heading' (make it clear to the reader what position you are seeking. If unsure, consider career counseling or purchase/rent a book on career choices)
  • Could use a 'Summary' or 'Profile' statement (show your career overview)
  • 'Objective' is weak, clich√©, unclear, or vague (State what you can do for the employer; not only what you want from them)
  • Resume does not support 'Objective' (be sure to make a connection)
  • Lacks accomplishments / career achievements (sell it, don't tell it!)
  • Lacks industry specific terminology / Keywords ("speak" the reader's language)
  • Jobs are not in the proper order 
  • Sentences are too choppy - five words per bullet (expand; make it interesting)
  • Wording is weak; statements are too simple (use action verbs and a thesaurus)
  • Same information repeated too many times (use a functional/combination format)
  • Too many typos and grammatical errors (read it backwards; have a friend read it over!)
  • Unrelated jobs go back too far in years (keep it to 7-10 years in most cases)
  • Includes too much unrelated information (stay on track; keep the position in mind)
  • Does not include enough related information (show how well rounded you are)
  • Uses pronouns - "I, He, She, His, Her" (not necessary or is understood)
  • Style is outdated looking (headings are underlined and followed by colons ":", the word "duties" is used, and uses "responsibilities:" as subheadings)
  • 2nd page is too short - only a third down or less (condense/combine)
  • 2nd page does not include your name (what if the second page is misplaced?)
  • Too much or not enough white space (looks empty, inexperienced)
  • Uses the full address for employers (list only the town and state)
  • Uses full employment dates such as 12/11/01 (list only the month and year)
  • Lists reason for leaving or explains situation (if you must, save it for the letter)
  • Includes a 'Professional References Available Upon Request' statement at the bottom of the resume (not wrong, but not necessary.) Remember, this is not an option. If the employer wants references, they will ask for them.
  • Includes a cover letter / salary information on the resume (use separate sheets)
  • Includes unrelated personal interests and hobbies such as "enjoy reading, long walks, music, travel, knitting, and puzzles" (include interests ONLY if it is related to your career 'Objective')
  • Includes personal information such as married, homeowner, two children (Leave off. It is unrelated to the position and presents an opportunity for discrimination.)

 

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