7 Common Resume Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Hailey Jiang
Posted by

Your resume is an employer’s first look at you and your work history. However, many people today underestimate just how much of an impression a good and professional resume can leave on an employer. A small grammar mistake or poor formatting could cost someone a job that is a perfect fit for them. Let’s go through the top seven mistakes that people make on their resume.

1. Spelling or grammatical errors

This one is obvious. Spelling and grammatical errors tell employers that you were rushed and don’t pay close attention to detail. Before saving your resume, double check for any errors. Use Grammarly or a similar program to make sure there are no mistakes. Ask family members or friends to review your resume. Sending a mistake-free resume is a sure way to leave a good impression on your employer!

2. No contact information

Imagine this: you send your resume and application to an employer. They like what they see, and want to schedule an interview. They search your profile, but can’t find any way to contact you! They throw out your application and move to the next. You don’t get the job. Now, this can be easily prevented by adding your email and phone number to the top of your resume. This gives employers an easy way to contact you if needed.

3. Resume is too long or too short

No one wants to read a ten page long resume, and a resume that only spans half a page won’t be sufficient either. Employers read many resumes a day, and a resume that’s too long will deter them from your application. On the other hand, a resume that’s less than a page doesn’t give a recruiter enough information about you and your background. A resume should be between one and two pages long. If you are struggling with filling space up on your resume, consider adding impactful courses you are taking, past internships, volunteer work, and hobbies. If you’re short on content, add descriptions of each activity you list and what you learned from it. However, avoid using distracting designs to fill up space on your resume.

4. Not customizing your resume

Resumes are not a “one size fits all” situation. The same resume that works for a fashion company probably won’t work for a data science company. Make sure to tailor your resume so it matches the job description of the position you’re applying for. A helpful tip is to create one “catch all” resume that includes all of your work experience, skills, and other necessary details. Then, you can create more resumes with specific details based on what job you are applying for. This way, you will have all of your information in one place and can ensure that employers will only see the most important experience and skills you have.

5. Adding irrelevant information

Similar to the last mistake, you shouldn’t add information on your resume that doesn’t make you stand out as a candidate. You don’t need to add every course you took or every hobby you have. Before finalizing your resume, check it over one more time and make sure your skills and experience match the qualifications for the job. If you are confused on the qualifications, check the job description of the position you’re applying for. 

6. Unprofessional or outdated contact information

Add your name and location along with your email and phone number to the top of your resume. This gives the employer an easy way to contact you for an interview or further steps. However, make sure to list an email address you check regularly. If you recently moved, check that your location is up-to-date. Furthermore, you should ensure that you have a professional email address. If you’re still using the same email address from middle school, it might be time to make a professional work email.

7. Poor formatting

If your resume is hard to read, the employer will have a hard time determining whether you’re a good fit for the position. They might miss important information that would cause you to stand out. When formatting your resume, make sure everything is neat and labeled. Put the most important and relevant information in the beginning. Use a professional font, such as Arial or Times New Roman. Avoid elaborate fonts that, while may be pleasing to look at, are hard to read. Keep your resume neat and minimalistic to ensure that the employer will have no trouble seeing that you’re the perfect fit for the job.

The right resume will leave a good impression on the employers and boost your application. By avoiding common resume mistakes, you can increase your chances of landing the position you want. Applying for jobs can be tedious, but a strong resume will make the process much easier.


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

Jobs to Watch