Avoiding Some Typical Resume Mistakes


Resume information complexities

If you have ever written a resume for yourself or tried to write one for someone else, you’re probably fully aware of how difficult such a task can be; made even more complicated by the large amount of information that often goes into a resume.

From the individual’s career objective to listing his/her qualifications, a resume should be personal, it should convey confidence and it should be presented in the best possible way to impress a potential employer.

About resumes, cover letters and interviews

However, in view of the fact that creating a winning, well-written resume is not easy, it is of crital importance that the resume writer pays special attention to some of the most typical mistakes made in resume composition, and take the necessary steps to avoid and/or eliminate them. Some of those mistakes are elaborated upon in the following paragraphs.

Including references to personal web sites

You may wonder why referencing a personal web site may be a mistake, since you might have a sample of your graphic design work on a site that you want your potential employer to see; but this is a good idea only if the site you are referencing is limited to work-related content.

Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of including their personal web sites, most of which contain information that a potential employer may find irrelevant, which in his/her view is a waste of company time if not inappropriate altogether.

As a rule, do not include your personal web site if it contains yours, or other photos that may be viewed as inappropriate; including jokes (even if they are clean), or your blog. In other words, if the site you have is entirely for personal purposes, it’s best leaving it off your otherwise well-written resume.

Include a link to your web site if the pages are set up specifically to showcase your professional portfolio, a copy of your resume, reference letters, presentations, photos taken for professional use, or your web development skills.

Using small fonts to compress content

Sometimes you just cannot squeeze all the information required on a resume into a single page, especially if you are presenting twenty or thirty years of education, experience and skills; because it will not format will and can otherwise be very challenging.

As a rule, well-written resume should not exceed two pages; but in recent years it has become commonplace for professionals to change jobs frequently, and if you’re a member of this group, you know that listing all your experiences, as well as your career objective, education, qualifications and references, can certainly take up a lot of space.

However, you should refrain from using a small font in order to fit everything into your resume; because there is not a single area in your resume that should have a font size of less than 10 points. Keep in mind what font type you are using and stick to the basics.

Arial and Times New Roman are the standard font type for resume writing, and are therefore recommended for use in writing your own resume. So instead of changing the font size, review and revise your resume to make sure that statements made are more concise.

Employer and school listing errors

Some critical errors that are sometimes made on a resume without the realization that they’re being made is the preparer’s failure to refer to past employers and/or school(s) they attended by their full and correct names; and this should be avoided in all instances; so do not use variations of company and school names; and don’t use abbreviations unless they are in fact part of the name.

In other words, if you have attended New York University, list the complete name, not just NYU – even though it’s commonly known and your employer will likely recognize it. You definitely do not want to appear sloppy, or unable to pay attention to details.


Lengthy descriptive paragraphs and typos

In order to list those responsibilities you’ve had in your past professional experience, it is best to use bullet points that begin with action verbs; such as managed, developed, etc. You really don’t need to use full sentences, and you certainly don’t need to use a paragraph format.

Using full sentences in a paragraph format make the information in your resume overwhelming and difficult to review quickly; so make your statements brief and clear; and don’t add words simply to fill in space.

What may be the most important factor in achieving a winning and well-written resume is proof reading; and since you want to put your best foot forward it is absolutely unforgivable for your resume to contain grammar and spelling problems which by themselves are enough to give your potential employer the impression that you are not detail-oriented, or even negligent.

About resumes, cover letters and interviews

Of course it is understandable the difficulty in proofing a document you have been working on so closely; so use spell check – but be ware, it will not catch everything – and ask your friends/family for help, or meet with a career counselor. Do your best to present the most polished resume to your potential employers, and begin with eliminating simple mistakes.