Fixing the 5 Worst Resume Mistakes

Nancy Anderson
Posted by

Your resume is often the only thing that stands between you and the job you want. Therefore, putting it together in a way that looks and sounds like every other resume out there is a major faux pas. Make sure you're not committing any of the following common resume mistakes.

1. Using Common Phrases

So many resumes are filled with vague, overused phrases like "excellent communication skills" and "self-starter." If your resume contains terms like these, it's time for an overhaul. Instead of the same old drivel that your competition is fluffing their resumes with, try adding a human touch by listing unique skills you've picked up or touting an achievement you're most proud of.

2. Listing Daily Duties

Another common mistake is listing your daily responsibilities as bullet points beneath each job on your resume. This is as useless as it is boring. Most recruiters expect a candidate to be able to work a computer, send email or put together a professional document. Instead of listing your obvious daily duties, use your bullet points to highlight your accomplishments. How did you make the company better? How did you save the company money or time? What would you be remembered for? This is the kind of information that should fill your resume to catch the attention of hiring managers.

3. Shady Facts

Make sure you double-check all the information you put in your resume. Make sure your employment dates match what your previous employers have on record and that your accomplishments can be verified by your former boss. Hiring managers typically cross-check everything you put in your resume, so if anything doesn't match up, it could tarnish your image or make you appear untrustworthy before you've even made it to the next stage in the hiring process.

4. Generic Content

Your resume should be tailored to match each and every job and company you apply for. Recruiters can spot a generic resume from miles away, and it often means a trip to the trash can. With so much competition for each available job listing, companies need to know that the candidates they select are perfect for their organization. The only way to convince them that you're the right fit is by allowing your resume to show them. Use key words and phrases from the company's website and job description, and emphasize the skills you have that the company values.

5. Spelling and Grammar Errors

An all-too-common mistake is crafting a great resume without properly proofreading for spelling and grammar errors. Running a spell-check isn't enough; it won't catch errors like run-on sentences or misspelled names. In addition to the spell-check, have a friend or family member review your resume to catch anything you may have missed. For even better results, let a professional resume service do the proofreading and editing for you.

Instead of making your resume fit in with the rest of the competition, stand out by tailoring its content, eliminating cliched phrases and highlighting your greatest accomplishments.

Photo courtesy of everydayplus at


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch