Silly resume mistakes you can avoid now!

While style and direction are critically important in terms of planning and executing a successful resume, it is equally important to avoid making blatant errors.  To avoid generating a document that is more likely to meet the trash can than the desk of the hiring manager, be sure to double check your resume for the following mistakes.

Did you accidentally say Manger instead of Manager?  Don’t laugh. This is reported to be one of the most common typos out there. Spell-check won’t pick it up and somehow it goes undetected on more resumes than you can imagine.  Always proofread your document after using spell-check to be on the safe side. If you are not a spelling whiz, find someone who is and have them give it a once over before putting it on the job boards or sending it to potential employers.

Another common error occurs when adding new information to your resume. You may accidentally change the font or type size without realizing this. If you are using more than 2 font types, your resume may reflect a lack of attention to detail that is unlikely to impress human resources. Scrutinize the document carefully to avoid this pitfall.

On a similar note, if you are making room for a new position on your resume and moving your last job down from position number 1 to position number 2, be sure to change the verb tense to reflect this modification. Your current role should be depicted in the present tense (assuming you are working), but your previous role, will now need to be changed to the past tense. So, for example, lead becomes led and coordinate becomes coordinated.  You get the picture.

Another pitfall of resume writing that is common is to use the 1st person. Skim through your resume to be sure that nothing has been expressed using personal pronouns like I or me.  These pronouns are best reserved for the cover letter.  So instead of saying, “I delegated…” it is better to simply state, “Delegated…..” and leave the pronoun off completely. 

Finally, excessive wordiness can be a problem on your resume.  Keep your sentences to the point.  Look for ways to eliminate unnecessary verbiage.  Do not allow paragraphs to become excessively long.  Readers have a short attention span and respond better when content is broken down into smaller segments.


You are encouraged to comment on blog posts and/or submit questions to Debra. You can reach her on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC is President of Careers Done Write, a premier career services provider focused on developing highly personalized career roadmaps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries.

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