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.


  • Susan Cole says:

    After reading this I am assuming then it is okay to skip certain employers on your resume then? Mine is 2 pages long and I still had to leave off employers simply because of my age. I didn’t want it to look like I had gaps in employment but then on the other hand thought it was to long but my retail managerial and banking experience is over twenty years ago because of having 20 years in medical field. I am wanting to possibly get out of medicine but applications, etc just ask for first 10 years, etc and it is only 1 job in pharmacy. Can I skip around on not only resume but regular applications too?.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Susan,

      Thanks for your comment! Yes, when you are creating your resume, it’s okay to leave off some positions that aren’t directly relevant to the position you are applying for. You can always explain dates or any employment gaps in a cover letter or in your interview.

      For your application, however, it is best to list the employment requested. In your case, if the application asks for the last ten years of experience you should list your pharmacy position as it is most recent; it’s also impressive that you have such longevity in one position! Since you just have one position that covers all ten years, you could also list two or three more on your application, even if it is outside of the time frame.

      For clarification, or for help with other resume and application questions, you are welcome to call the Penmac HR Department at (417) 616-6461.

      Thank you!

      Penmac Staffing

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