3,741 Things to NOT Do On a Resume

Resume Writing No-No’s:

(and you can relax now, there’s really only 7 listed here — whewww!)


  1. NO TYPPOS!!!! You KNEW that, I know!  (And yes, I know there aren’t supposed to be too, I mean two P’s in typos, to . . I mean too!)  . . . but you’d be surprised just how many resumes have mistakes – and more than won (err, one)! (ugh!)
    • Spell check first, then proofread, then read it backwards (this really helps you catch stuff!), then have someone else proofread it.  (Oh, and make the needed changes, too!)
    • Check NOT just for spelling misteaks mistakes, but also for incorrect word usage that spell check won’t catch – there/their/they’re, ‘from’ when you meant ‘form’, things like that.
  2. No colors or graphics (font or paper color).
    • Exception:  graphic design field
  3. No resumes over 2 pages long!  Period.
    • Weellll, the exception is a professor or executive with extensive experience.  Then your ‘resume’ becomes a more detailed ‘curriculum vitae’. (see my post on 1 vs. 2 pages here)
  4. No personal information such as hobbies or marital status, or photos!
    • The first two examples are really really old school & outdated and the last two could be legal issues.  Just keep it professional.
  5. No “first person” language.
    • Bad example: “ I made up the curriculum for my class.” No no!  And not: “I was in charge of personnel and ordering.”
    • Instead, the use action verbs and pertinent details.  The correct “resume lingo”  is: “Wrote curriculum for 5th Grade Honors Journalism class.” and “Managed personnel issues and ordered all company office supplies.”
  6. No fancy fonts or teeny tiny print size
    • Keep it simple and professional and large enough for strained eyes to read easily. Font size 10 is pushing it . . .  11 or 12 are better.  Always strive to make your resume as easy for the reader to read as possible, and that starts with font style and size.
  7. No listing references on a resume (or even adding “References Upon Request” – they know that, and will ask for them when they’re ready for ’em.)  You’ll want to have a nicely typed up list of at least three professional references ready for them when they do put out that request!

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