Top 5 Resume Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


Would you like to avoid common resume mistakes to make a fantastic first impression? Your resume is the first thing any potential employer sees, unless you’ve got some kind of inside connection and are able to skip this step. For the vast majority of us, however, our resume is the equivalent of meeting someone for the first time. This is especially true now with most job hunting done online, and resumes are looked at far before any other part of a candidate is seen or considered.

Resume mistakes can undermine all the hard work you have done.

Having a great resume means really putting your best foot forward when you’re on the job hunt, and with things the way they are now, you need every arrow you can possibly put in your quiver. We’ll talk about some of the most common resume mistakes that many people make when writing their resume. That way you’ll be able to avoid most of the pitfalls of your competition’s resumes and introduce yourself with a killer first impression like you know you were meant to all along.

Top 5 Resume Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

How to Avoid These Resume Mistakes


1. Being too Long

If you were under the impression that employers like reading resumes, you might be mistaken. And if you were under the impression that you’re the only person applying for the job, you are likely to be very mistaken. In most cases, employers have a ton of resumes to go through, so yours should get the job done quick. Keep your resume to two pages maximum, unless it is for a very senior position or a university appointment. Your resume should be succinct, so your potential employer really gets the feeling that time is a valuable commodity to you.

2. A Lack of Confidence

Be bold, and don’t be afraid to be apparent about it as you do so. Your resume should make it clear that not choosing you for the job would be a foolish mistake. Make yourself sound like the Indiana Jones of whatever it is you do, and portray yourself as a confident, executional genius. The way you communicate about yourself says a lot about what you really think about your abilities, and a smart employer knows this. Don’t be boastful, but it is a big resume mistake not to outline your achievements clearly and confidently


3. Irrelevant Experience

If you worked at a grocery store when you were sixteen and you’re applying for a graphic design position now, you can leave off that older experience because it’s completely irrelevant. Even if it’s recent, work that doesn’t apply to your potential position can be left off the resume. No need to waste anyone’s time, right?

4. Too Boring

Be adventurous, and don’t be afraid to invite your reader to crack a smile. Be moderate about this, as there’s a time and a place for everything. But your design and content should be fun, sharp, and clever. It should also be these things in a way that’s suited to your chosen profession. Obviously, a resume for a film production studio will look different than one for a financial firm. Both are a good opportunity to show that you’re a fun person to work with, though.

5. Lame Linguistics

This being said, don’t let the language in your resume get boring. Keep things fresh, and exciting. Bust out that thesaurus or have a resume expert review look at what you’ve written. There is always a way to spice up your copy, and doing so can mean the difference between getting the job you want and applying for many more jobs.


There are many places online that tell you about resume mistakes, and many more that help you craft a really good resume. But you will find just about everything you need to know about it here on BoomersNextStep.

Related post: Common job search mistakes made by older workers

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Jenni Proctor

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