Here Are The Most Common Resume Mistakes, After Reviewing 100+

By Amanda Luketa | Oct 21, 2019
Career| Achievers Network

I’ve reviewed hundreds of resumes in my life. I have edited or rewritten more than I can count; have given pointers on many, and threatened to light some on fire.

Concise and clear is the name of the game here. Your resume needs to be easy to read and navigate, and contain only information that is highly relevant. Every piece of information you include should be a golden nugget — if it’s not, leave it out.

Find below the most common resume mistakes, and check to make sure yours is free from them all. At the bottom you’ll find a downloadable resume template that’s yours to use, for free — and no, I don’t want your email in exchange. I just want you, for the love of God, to have a good resume.

Mistake #1: Difficult-to-find contact info

Don’t put pieces of your contact info in various places, like a trail of annoying breadcrumbs for HR to follow. Don’t put your contact info in the footer of your resume in really tiny print, either.

Do include all your contact info — name, address, phone number, email that you actually use* — in slightly larger or bold text, centered at the top of your resume.

*And please don’t use the email for your current job.

Mistake #2: Listing irrelevant experience

Don’t list where you went to high school. No one cares. No one cares that you bartended for six months your junior year, when you’re applying for an engineering job.

Do list experience that is directly applicable to the job you’re applying for: that internship, the time you volunteered, previous employment, membership in a relevant organization. This might mean that you leave some experience out — and that’s perfectly ok.

Mistake #3: Including all your experience

Don’t list everywhere you’ve worked. I once received a resume that was five pages long. Dude had a long career, and lots of experience — impressive, but no one’s going to read all that.

Do include your top 2–5 most relevant positions; ideally, these are recent as well. It’s ok to include a note saying a comprehensive work history is available upon request. There are people who will disagree with me on this, but it’s my recommendation that your resume be no more than a single page.

Mistake #4: Really teeny text

Don’t try to cram everything into that single page using 8pt font, or by adjusting the line spacing or page margins. It makes your resume awkward to look at, and thus awkward to read.

Do think about what really highlights why you’re the best candidate for this job. Being meaningfully concise is key here. Use 12pt font (14pt for headings, if