Common Resume Mistakes Anyone Could Make

There are dozens and dozens of resume tips and tricks that can help you get a job, whether you’re an expert or just beginning your career. But no matter what stage you’re in, keeping your eyes out for common resume mistakes may be the difference between call-backs and endless candidacy.

Keep a short checklist of these common resume mistakes by your side when you’re writing and editing your resume. It will be one of the best tools you’ll have to guide you through the job application process.

You can avoid make-it-or-break-it pitfalls when it comes to your job hunt by keeping these seven common resume mistakes in mind.

1. Not Proofreading Your Resume


It may sound obvious, but failing to proofread their resume is probably the number one mistake people make when they’re applying for a position. Few things are more off-putting for employers than a grammatically incorrect resume.

If you’re like most people, you can get pretty tired of looking at your resume by the time you’re finished the writing and editing process. But after your well-deserved break, it’s important to ask a friend or family member to review your draft, and then to do a final proofread, too.

That’s because a second pair of eyes are always helpful, plus you never know what typos, formatting inconsistencies, or grammatical mistakes you may have missed the first time around.

If you’re really in a bind, you can always try popular spellcheck and grammar programs available online, such as Grammarly and Hemingway Editor, though make sure to take their automated advice with a grain of salt.

It’s worth it to spend five minutes proofreading – promise!

2. Leaving the Wrong Contact Information


It may sound silly, but leaving the wrong contact information is actually a very common mistake many job hunters make.

You never know when your computer will automatically fill in the wrong email address or autocorrect your contact information incorrectly. You’re especially at risk using word processor programs that use autocorrect and spellcheck, such as Microsoft Word and Google Docs. Plus, who doesn’t make a typo every once in awhile?

Don’t depend entirely on autocorrect and spellcheck when you’re proofreading, especially when it comes to your contact information!

3. Forgetting Your Formatting

Employers can tell whether you’ve spent enough time on your resume without reading a thing. How do they do it? It’s simple. All they have to do is look at your formatting.

It only takes a second to glance at a resume to see whether you’ve formatted your resume consistently. It isn’t hard to do, but by taking that extra step, you’re showing the hiring manager that you’re a careful, detailed person who would be a fantastic addition to their company.

The nice thing about formatting is that you can choose what style suits you and the position you’re applying for. You don’t need to take a cookie-cutter approach to designing your resume, as long as it’s uniform throughout the document.

In fact, if you’re applying for a creative position like a graphic designer, having an unusual looking resume could actually give you an advantage over other applicants, so long as it’s consistent. And don’t forget about how helpful a personal brand can be if you’re in a creative field!

4. Ignoring Your Audience


Maybe you’re using’s rich job posting portal, or maybe you’re simply scrolling through a job posting website.

No matter how you’re finding positions, chances are that you’re applying for a lot of jobs all day, every day. But sending off your resume without having a specific employer in mind is a major mistake that tons of job hunters make.

Here are some ways you can personalize your resume:

  • Tailoring your summary to match the job posting description
  • Personalizing the writing style to match the job post style – if you need writing practice, check out this article on, “How to Start Blogging to Get the Job You Want
  • Formatting your resume more or less formally to match the formality of the company
  • Customizing your soft skills, qualifications, and accomplishments to match the job requirements

Personalizing your resume for each employer is important so that they know you’re the perfect candidate for that specific position, and that you’re not just applying for every opening you see.

5. Making Your Resume Too Long


Employers have to sort through hundreds of applications when they post a job opening. By the time they get to read your resume, they’re probably tired of reading lengthy documents about why candidates think they’re a good fit for the job.

Make sure it’s clear and straightforward for employers to see why they should hire you. Send a short and sweet resume that shows why you’re the best choice.

Your resume should be one or two pages, maximum, unless you’re applying for a senior-level position.

And don’t try to fool the employer by cramming your formatting in or shrinking your font beyond readability. Many employers won’t even take the time to go through a resume unless it’s easy to read.

6. Making Your Resume Too Short

On the other hand, your resume shouldn’t be so short that employers can’t see why you’re awesome. That means your resume shouldn’t be less than a page long.

You need to convince them that you’re a good fit for their company culture, you’re qualified, and you’re able to meet the job requirements. Be detailed enough that you’re able to give a convincing argument to an employer about why they should hire you.

But don’t worry – if you don’t have a lot to write about in your resume, check out this helpful resource about how to write a resume with little to no work experience.

7. Being Too Modest

Are you standing in your own way during your job hunt?

It may surprise you, but it’s entirely possible that you’re accidentally holding yourself back.

Most people struggle with being too modest on their resume. People are conditioned to be humble and to avoid showing off or boasting. However, being quiet about how great you are can actually hinder you when you’re applying for a new position.

Your resume is your time to shine. Don’t be shy when you’re telling an employer why you’re the best candidate. If you’re showing them the qualifications and relevant skills that make you the best candidate for them, you’re actually doing them a favor!

Don’t Panic About These Common Resume Mistakes!


If you caught any common resume mistakes, don’t panic. Just take a closer look at your resume, pay attention to any areas that could be improved, and learn from your missteps.

Everyone makes mistakes. Just do your best to fix them, and then send off your resume with confidence!

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