Common Resume Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Learn how to avoid these five common errors.

Have you been looking for a job for a while, but haven’t received any calls for interviews? While this could mean a number of things, it might be worth looking at your resume again to make sure it’s helping you put your best foot forward. Read below to learn how you can avoid five common resume errors.


  1. Typos– Whether you’re a great speller or a not-so-great speller, everyone makes mistakes. Have a friend proofread your resume for typos and spelling and grammatical errors. Even if you think it’s perfect, sometimes our eyes start to overlook things after you’ve stared at it for a while. Don’t just rely on your computer’s spellcheck either; it doesn’t catch everything. Typically, a small error isn’t a big deal, but in a resume the problem is amplified. It sends a bad signal to potential employers who are looking for candidates to do their best job.
  2. Generic– Resumes should highlight your accomplishments, not just list past employers, dates, and job duties. Where ever possible, use specific statistics. For instance, if you were in production in your last job, don’t just write “Production Worker.” Instead, list how many items you assembled in a day. Also, customize your resume to each specific job you apply for. If you’re submitting applications for positions in different industries, the skills you list on one resume might not be relevant to another.
  3. Length– Sometimes it’s hard to know how long your resume should be. On the one hand, you want to promote all of your accomplishments, but on the other hand you don’t want to overwhelm potential employers. HR managers and supervisors have busy schedules and typically receive tons of applications. The best rule of thumb is to keep your resume to about a page long. You may have to summarize items or pick and choose which past employment to include.
  4. Visual– You might feel like your resume should be fancy and elaborate, but the best resumes have a simple, professional appearance. The focus should be on the content of the resume, not what it looks like. Choose a simple font and stick to white or off-white paper and black ink.
  5. Dishonesty– Be completely truthful on your resume and throughout the whole application process. You might be surprised at how easy it is for employers to discover fibs in employment history, skills, etc. Not only will most employers check references, but many will research potential candidates through social media, online outlets, and word-of-mouth.


For more tips on writing a resume, like whether or not you should include temp work, what to write if you’re new to the work force, and tips if you’re a veteran, check out the Penmac blog, or stop by your nearest Penmac location.