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Common Resume Mistakes Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Common Mistakes found in resumes

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Basic Resume Etiquette

1. Not proofr­eading
It’s clear there are many possible mistakes job candidates can make when crafting their resumes, but for many hiring profes­sio­nals, one stands above the rest. “The worst, most egregious mistake? Typos, misspe­lling and poor grammar,” says Lynda Spiegel, founder of Rising Star Resumes. A resume littered with errors is the quickest way to convince prospe­ctive employers to move on to the next resume.
2. Being forget­table
Establ­ishing a “personal brand” can feel awkward and self-p­rom­otional at first—but hey, you are here to show prospe­ctive employers what you have to offer! “Create a compelling tagline and statement that quickly definea your differ­ent­iators.
3. Using too many buzzwords
A big mistake can be using buzzwords instead of demons­trating what you’ve actually accomp­lished. For example, instead of saying, "I am great team player­," try providing details that are true to your experi­ence, such as, "I worked in a team of five," says Anna-Jane Niznik­owska, career coach at Telegraph Street.
4.  Undere­sti­mating the power of keywords
Pay attention to the words and phrases used in the job descri­ption and be sure to include some in your resume. That way you’ll be sure to catch the eye of the initial screeners who will then pass your resume along to the hiring managers who make the larger decisions.
5. Focusing on intang­ibles
It’s tempting to fill your resume with unnece­ssary adjectives or generic inform­ation to make it appear more robust. But job candidates should always try to link their achiev­ements to real, solid numbers, according to Jasmine Elias, marketing manager at Kizkaz. “I don't want to hear that you created a new social media strategy, I want to know what the results were.”
6. Stretching the truth
This probably seems like another no-bra­iner. But hiring profes­sionals run into this more often than we’d like to believe! “Lying on a resume can cost you the job,” says Tracy Vistine, lead recruiter for Messina Group. “Companies require background checks and if your experience does not match your resume, an offer will be rescin­ded.”
7. Being too lengthy
There’s no hard-a­nd-fast rule for this one, but many profes­sionals recommend keeping your resume between one and three pages. The important thing here is to consider the fact that the person reading it will like be reading dozens of others. Making your inform­ation easily skimmable by labeling sections and including bulleted lists could help it get past the first round of screening.
8. Recycling resumes
We briefly mentioned this already but it’s worth highli­ghting again. While many jobs are similar in nature, a resume must be tailored specif­ically to each job you are applying for. No matter how sneaky you think you are, most employers can tell the differ­ence.

Personal inform­ation

9. Using an unprof­ess­ional email addresses
You know that email address you thought was hilarious when you created it during your junior year of high school? Chances are, hiring managers won’t get as much of a kick out of it as you did back then. “For goodness sake, use a profes­sional email,” says Leanne E. King, president and CEO of SeeKing HR. A good rule of thumb for this one is to incorp­orate some variation of your first and last name.
10. Misspe­lling your email address
one of the most common mistakes employers encounter is an incorrect email address. With email being one of the most prominent points of contact in today’s digital age, it’s crucial you get this one right.
11. Listing multiple phone numbers
It is not necessary to list all your contact numbers, King says. To keep it simple, include your primary line, but be sure the one you do provide works and has a profes­sional voicemail greeting in case you’re not around to answer an important call.
12. Getting too personal
A big no-no on your resume is including inform­ation on your hobbies or interests. But that said, sometimes sharing unique things about yourself can be the differ­ent­iator between you and another qualified candidate. The trick here is to be sure the info you choose to include can translate to employable attrib­utes. For example, it can be helpful to share that you coach little league, but not that the Yankees are your favorite team.

Your Qualif­ica­tions

13. Burying (or omitting) your accomp­lis­hments
Employers do care about your education, but most are more concerned with how you’ve used your degree since you earned it. For that reason, Sherman suggests leading with your experience and accomp­lis­hments and then moving on to listing your creden­tials.
14. Being too modest
No one likes a show-b­oater but you don’t have to sell yourself short. Your resume is your chance to make a great first impression to prospe­ctive employers, so don’t hesitate to share any achiev­ements or awards.
15. Including irrelevant experience
If you list every respon­sib­ility you’ve had in every position you’ve ever held, you will appear to lack direction. Pay attention to the job for which you’re applying and what that specific position will require of you. If some of your experience doesn’t fit in with the position, you shouldn’t clutter your resume with it, Sherman asserts.
16. Appearing uncomm­itted
A common red flag is listing a handful jobs that lasted less than 1-2 years, especially in a row. “One might be expected,” says Jonathan Poston, founder of, “but more than that and you'll be labelled a jumper." If your work experience looks like this, try to work in a way to explain the constant shifting, such as reloca­tion, salary upgrade or something equally relevant.
17. Misrep­res­enting gaps in employment
You should never fudge your dates of employment to duqguise any gaps during which you weren’t working. Remember that these things can easily be verified through HR. It’s much better to explain the absence than it is to be deemed a liar!
18. Digging too far into the past
There’s no hard-a­nd-fast rule for how far back you should dig into your work history, although many profes­sionals suggest capping it off at the last ten years. Employers don’t need to know about every summer job you held through high school or that you waited tables during college last decade.
19. Overlo­oking your volunteer work
“This is a social world, so include your volunteer efforts especially when they speak to critical skills or experience required for the position,” King says. Whether you’ve volunt­eered at a local church, coached children’s sports or worked on the admini­str­ative side of local fundra­iser, highlight that in your resume! It can speak not only to your experi­ence, but also to your character and willin­gness to do more than is asked of you.
20. Omitting your ongoing education
Current college students often wonder about this one. Rather than simply listing the high school you attended, applicants should list the college they are enrolled in and the expected graduation date. The same applies for college graduates currently pursuing post-g­raduate education.
21. Listing generic skills
It is crucial to be clear and concise when listing your qualif­ica­tions. This might require doing a bit of research on relevant industry lingo in order to ensure you’re speaking the right language! Resumes that list ‘Inter­net,’ as a skill,” are not credable. Instead, consider saying something like, “ample experience with web-based research,” or “profi­cient in website mainte­nance.”


22. Crowding the page
In the midst of flaunting your accomp­lis­hments and qualif­ica­tions, it’s also important to leave some white space on your resume, King says. This makes it appear more inviting and interv­iewers often like to make notes in the margins.
23. Using bright colors
It’s only natural to want to catch an employer’s eye in the midst of dozens of resumes, but using signature colors should be avoided, according to Vistine. You want to be sure your resume doesn’t look amateur and that your experience and qualif­ica­tions can speak for themse­lves.
24. Adding too many bells & whistles
Just because you have access to clipart or Photoshop doesn’t mean you have to use it when building your resume. “Some folks get too creative and end up making their resumes look like the cover of a fashion magazine,” Sherman says. Once again, let your experience do the talking. A flashy­-lo­oking resume may indicate that you’re overco­mpe­nsating for a lack of qualif­ica­tions.
25. Incons­istent font usage
Pick a font that is profes­sional and easy to read and stick with it. If your font varies throughout your resume, that can be distra­cting or possibly viewed as sloppy by prospe­ctive employers. A good rule of thumb is to use a font with serifs if your resume will be read in print, while sans-serif is ideal for web-based viewing.
26. Irregular formatting
Clear and consistent formatting speaks volumes about process and profes­sional presence, King says. This can include making sure your section headers all match (same font size, all underl­ined, etc.) and mainta­ining consis­tency with the style of bullet points you use throug­hout. Staying on top of this will give your resume a more polished look.