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The Top Three Resume Mistakes You Should Avoid

Posted on: July 1, 2015

Category: Career Advice

Resume Mistakes to AvoidIs it time to dust off your resume and find the job you’ve been dreaming about? Or maybe you’ve been job searching for some time and haven’t had success yet. Whatever the case, it’s time to take a hard look at your resume. Most important, what resume mistakes are you making, and how can you correct them?

Why is a solid resume so important?

Your resume gives a company a first impression of you. A good resume can get you in the door for an interview, while even one small resume mistake can instantly end your chances of getting hired. Here are our top three resume mistakes, and how to correct them or avoid making them:

1. Spelling and Grammar

A spelling or grammar mistake on your resume can be the kiss of death. One small typo or word choice error, and not only do you lose your credibility with a hiring company, but your resume likely ends up in the “no” pile.

Mistakes can inadvertently sneak onto your resume while you’re constantly tweaking your resume for each position you apply for. Or, you’re so familiar with your resume, your eyes skip over resume mistakes when proofreading.

What’s the fix? Keep your changes to a minimum, and do them carefully. Get a friend to comb your resume right before you send it out. Also, use a spell-checking program, though beware, spell-checker isn’t going to pick up on whether you used the right form of a word — like to, too, or two — just whether the words you used are spelled correctly. Want more tips? Check out our resume guidelines to learn more.

2. Formatting

You’ve probably heard to keep your resume to one or two pages. Employers want a quick look at your education and work experience, not never-ending detail about your employment history.

Don’t try to cram too much in. Don’t mess with the margins, spacing, and alignment. Don’t use dense fonts in tiny sizes to fit more on the page. A resume that is hard to look at isn’t going to win over anyone. If you’ve run out of room, cull your words, don’t start playing with the formatting. Stick to 10-point font, or higher, and if printing, use black ink on white paper.

3. Fudging Things

Don’t lie on your resume. Ever. Don’t even think about fudging your employment dates, embellishing your role, or listing degrees that you didn’t obtain. These resume mistakes can catch up with you, and could not only end your chances at getting a job, but your ability to keep your job if — when — you’re found out.

It’s also important not to be vague. Want to cover up a gap in employment by not including specific (month and year are optimal) job dates? Think again. You don’t want a hiring manager to wonder what you’re trying to hide by being vague.

A successful resume will hopefully lead to job interviews. Learn about how to put your best foot forward by visiting our interviewing page. Have any questions? Contact Sherpa now.


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