Resume Guides

Avoid These Ten Resume Errors

It’s incredibly easy to make a mistake on a resume, no matter how carefully you have combed over it for errors. And, once made, these mistakes can crucially harm your chances of getting that interview. Instead, take a look at our top resume errors to avoid, to help you stave off failure before you’ve even really gotten started.

1. Grammar and spelling mistakes

A resume should be grammatically perfect with pristine spelling. Little mistakes like these will tell an employer that you either can’t write, or that you don’t care enough to take time to proofread your work.

2. Leaving out specifics

An interviewer wants to know what you have accomplished in past jobs. For instance:

– Worked with colleagues in advertising


– Found and trained more than 35 workers in an advertising firm with more than $5 million in revenue

Both line items could be about the same person, but line two is going to make for a more compelling candidate, so be as specific as possible.

3. Sending the same resume to everyone

If you create one resume and send that exact draft to every employer, companies will catch on. Interviewers are looking to bring in people that will be a good fit at their business specifically, so customize your resume for every position you are applying to.

4. Focusing on responsibilities, not successes

Sometimes we fall into the trap of just listing on a resume past job duties. For instance:

  • Kept minutes at meetings
  • Supervised children
  • Kept up on files

An interviewer, however, cares less about your exact role in a past job, and more about what you achieved in that role. Like:

  • Used Word programs to detail exchanges between management, keeping records that were used as background for future meetings.
  • Created preschool-aged development projects and monitored children for unique field trips.
  • Took decades of paper files and translated them online.

5. Making it too long or too short

There are no hard and fast rules about how long a resume should be. You can’t predict the preferences of the person who will be reading it, so it’s best to just stick to the length that is most appropriate for you.

The standard is two pages, but that doesn’t mean you should fill in your resume with fluff and irrelevant items just to expand it. Likewise, you don’t want to cut out compelling facts just to make it fit onto one page.

6. A non-specific objective

Employers don’t want to read a vague, nonsense objective line. Their eyes are likely to glaze over at language like “To achieve success in whatever I do.” Instead, stick to specifics that also show how you will be an asset, like “To gain understanding in the non-profit role by developing new strategies to make our brand a leader in the field.”

7. Resisting action verbs

Don’t use soft language like “relied on for.” Action verbs are best, like “Solved staff problems by implementing an interoffice, electronic suggestion exchange.”

8. Leaving black holes

You might want to leave off odd side jobs that you don’t think sound impressive, but you’d be surprised how much employers enjoy seeing a diverse set of interests and skills.

9. Busy formatting

Don’t overwhelm employers with busy text and fancy fonts. Ask friends to look at your resume and see if they feel you’ve gone over the top. Sticking with basic fonts and easy to read text is best here–no need to cause anyone a headache.

10. Wrong contact info

If you feel your resume is as strong as it can be and you’re still not getting any interest, double check your contact info. It’s a small thing, but mistakes like two digits inverted on the phone number line could cost you big, so make sure to check, double check and then triple check your work.