5 Common Resume Writing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Posted February 16, 2022 by in Career
Woman in Red Blazer Using a Laptop

At the end of December 2021, there were 10.9 million open jobs in the United States. Many Americans are changing positions as the pandemic has shifted the labor market. Changing careers means dusting off the old resume and updating it to fill out new job applications.

Although the job openings may make it seem easy to land a job, employers must still take the time and effort to hire qualified employees. So to land a job, you will need a stand-out resume that illustrates you fit what they are looking for. 

But, making resume writing mistakes could result in you missing out on a job opportunity. What common mistakes might you be making? Read on for five resume writing mistakes you should avoid at all costs. 

1. Making Grammar, Spelling, and Formatting Errors

We’re human, and we make mistakes when typing that even a word processer might not catch. But resume grammar mistakes or formatting issues look unprofessional and could lead an employer to believe you are not serious about the job. Before you save your resume and attach it to your application, be sure to read over it carefully to correct any errors. 

Although you might think using bright colors and exciting fonts will make your resume stand out, it could do more harm than good. Bright colors take attention away from the skills and experience you have written, and a poorly chosen font could make your resume unreadable. So, choose fonts and colors that are clear and easy to read. 

2. Making Your Resume Too Long 

Employers don’t want to read through pages and pages of every job and activity that you’ve ever done. So avoid including irrelevant hobbies or interests on your resume. The best resume length is to stick to one or two pages that highlight the skills and experience you can bring to the hiring company. 

3. Not Tailoring It to the Job Description

Many companies will use software that scans resumes for keywords, and if your resume doesn’t have enough keywords, a hiring manager won’t even see it. So, using different resumes for different applications is a must. When writing a resume, have the description for the job you are applying for open and incorporate keywords into your paragraphs or bullet points.  

4. Failing to Quantify Your Achievements

A common mistake almost everyone makes on their resume is writing about their job duties rather than their achievements. So one of the best resume hacks that will make you stand out is to use active language that tells a hiring manager what you achieved. Backing up these statements with numbers clarifies what you offer and boosts your chances of getting the job. 

5. Including Unprofessional or Incorrect Information

It is illegal for employers to discriminate against applicants based on factors like race and gender in the US. So, including too much personal information like a photo will cause employers to pass on your application since they don’t want to get in trouble for discrimination. Ensure your information is up to date so employers can easily contact you and avoid confusion. 

You will also want to use an appropriate email address and avoid linking to any social media that could leave an employer with the wrong impression. It’s also important not to lie or exaggerate your skills on your resume. If an employer catches you lying, it could cost you the job.  

Land a Job by Avoiding These Resume Writing Mistakes

Be careful when formatting and reviewing your resume to ensure it is accurate and professional. There are a lot of resume writing mistakes you could make that could cause you to miss out on a job. So it’s crucial to write a strong and relevant resume that accurately reflects your skills. 

Are you interested in more ways to improve your resume? Check out the career section on our website for more tips on landing your dream job.