Avoid These Most Common Resume Mistakes

It’s all too easy to think you won’t make any mistakes on your resume. You won’t misspell your own name or include “taking long walks” under your skills section—real mistakes made on real resumes, according to a 2016 CareerBuilder survey. While you hopefully have more common sense than the above job seekers, be wary of making the following top resume mistakes:  

Misspellings and Grammatical Errors

People in charge of hiring receive a lot of resumes. That means they are looking for reasons to cull the best and discard the rest, so they have a manageable number of resumes to seriously consider. Spelling and grammar mistakes are among the most common reasons resumes get shifted from the inbox to the trash folder. Your resume should have zero mistakes.

Not Asking for Help

Don’t make the secondary blunder of thinking you will catch all mistakes yourself if you reread your resume enough, or do a final spelling and grammar check before you hit send. You won’t. Even professional writers need an editor to catch mistakes—they happen to everyone and become harder to spot the more you read the same thing over and over. Give your resume to trusted friends, mentors, a former boss, or your local librarian to proofread for you. And repeat the process each time you revise your resume for a new position.

Getting Your Contact Information Wrong

If you reverse two numbers of your cell phone or drop a letter from your email address, you can be sure you won’t be called in for an interview.

Including an Objective

Career objectives have gone out of style because they focus on what you want rather than what you provide to an employer. Instead, write a succinct career summary of relevant experience or add a bullet that expands on a notable achievement at your last job.

Using an Odd Email Address

Your email address should be straightforward and traditional. Create a new email address if yours is along the lines of skiguy85 or cranky43. Your full name, or your first initial plus your last name is most professional.  

Including Misinformation

False information on your resume can send it to the trash folder. Most people who fudge on their resumes do it to boost a relevant skill or erase a period of unemployment. But you are better off sharing the skills and experience you bring even if they don’t fulfill every requirement for the role. And you are far more likely to land and keep a job that suits you if you are honest about your work history and training. Starting a new job is stressful enough without having to pretend you know things you don’t.  

A One-Size-Fits-All Resume

Your resume should be customized each time you apply for a job. The experience you need for an office assistant position is different than what you need for a retail sales job. Read job descriptions closely so you can move the most important skills, training, and experience to the top. Also, remove anything that is completely unrelated to the position, as this indicates you don’t understand the role.

Not Sharing Your Accomplishments

Many people think sharing their skills, training, and education is enough. While that’s all important, you can stand out from the pack when you share specific accomplishments. This is where your strengths and soft skills shine. If you created efficiencies at a distribution center, share how subsequent fulfillment times improved. If you noticed a gap in safety training at your factory and spearheaded a fix, be sure to include this on your resume. Achievements like these show you are proactive, energetic, attentive, and invested in your work—all qualities that make you an appealing candidate.

Your resume is how you make that all-important first impression—by steering clear of these common resume mistakes you’ll make sure it’s a good one.