Easy to Fix Resume Mistakes

I’ve literally seen 1000’s of resumes over more than 15 years. These are some very common boo-boo’s that I see a lot, and, are easy to correct yourself. Even small changes and improvements can make a BIG positive difference on your resume!

Resume Writing No-No’s:

  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 resumes over 2 pages long!  Period.
    • Weellll, the exception is a professor or executive with extensive experience.  Then your ‘resume’ becomes a more detailed CV (‘curriculum vitae’.) (see my post on 1 vs. 2 pages here)
  3. 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    • The first two examples are really really old school & outdated and the last two could be legal issues, which I know is strange with the expectation of a professional head shot on LinkedIn. Pics are still not the norm on a resume, though.
    •  Just keep it to professional information.
  4. 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.” or “My job was to figure out the schedules and break times.”
    • Instead, the use action verbs and pertinent details.  The correct “resume lingo”  is: “Wrote curriculum for 5th Grade Honors Journalism class.” and “Managed human resource issues for 15 FT employees. Ordered and kept inventory for all company office supplies.” and “Coordinated schedules and break times for 25 PT employees Sun-Sat/3 shifts per day.”
  5. No fancy fonts or teeny tiny print size Always strive to make your resume as easy for the reader to read as possible, and that starts with font style and 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.
    • Some fonts will also not be easily read ‘through translation from one system to another or possibly through a resume scanning software system (ATS-applicant tracking system).
  6. No inconsistent formatting  Pick a style for things and stick with it. For example, listing your job history dates.  EX: 10/1017 – 02/2019 (then keep ALL dates as 2 digit month with a “/” and 4 digit year.
    • Don’t go from that in the previous job to June 2015 – 02/19 or even 6/15 – 2/19. USE THE SAME FORMAT throughout.
    • Same with bolding or CAPS use for job titles or company names, as another common example. Pick your style then apply it consistently.
  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 *separate*, nicely typed up list of at least three professional references ready for them when they do put out that request!