Guest Post: Top 10 Resume Mistakes

Here are the top 10 most common resume mistakes - and how to avoid them.

1. Using One Resume for All Applications

You have to tailor your resume to fit every job application - there is no "One Resume Fits All" format. Recruiters use a resume as a tool to shorten the list of potential interview candidates. Make sure your resume speaks directly to the job you're applying for.

If you were applying to a nursing home, and you had to choose between including your volunteer history at a hospital, or your time as a member of your local photography club, which would you include? Probably your time at the hospital. First, include everything that fits with your desired job - then, and only then include everything else if there's enough space.

2. Incorrect Resume Length

This will depend on the type of job you're looking for. Many jobs - specifically ones in finance or very fast-paced businesses prefer that a resume be one page at most. This does not mean three quarters of a page, or one and a bit - one exactly.

Resumes for government positions, or other businesses such at marketing usually allow for longer resumes; about two to three pages. Research the industry, and keep it within that length.

3. Not Clearly Focused

Employers are very busy people - they usually only give your resume between 2 and 20 seconds to make an impression, and then it's either the trash, or you've got yourself an interview.

Including an objective statement is a great way to make your intentions known. Be sure that your application package (resume and cover letter) clearly indicate the type of work you are looking for.

4. Spelling Mistakes

Speling mistakes do not look profesional. See? You would be surprised how many resumes have spelling and grammatical errors. Proof-read your resume, and have someone else look at it to be sure. Even just one mistake is enough reason for an employer to throw your resume in the trash.

5. Lack of Action Words

Make sure that you include 'action words' in your resume. These will help create energy and they're what employers are looking for. They signal specific actions and skills, which are often sought after by companies.

Use words like "Achieved" or "Optimized" or "Supervised" where appropriate, but be careful not to overuse.

6. Irrelevant Information

Information such as your age, race, gender, nationality (sometimes), marital status, other personal information are not needed on a resume. Unless they are relevant to your job (in which case it will be made known to you before you apply), irrelevant information should be left off your resume. It also reduces the number of reasons to not offer you an interview.

7. Not Enough Self-Promotion

Go ahead! Talk about your achievements! That's what a resume is for. Don't be humble - if you were in charge of something that became a success, be sure to mention it in your resume.

Employers want to see what you achieved in your positions; they don't want a job description. Instead of saying "Stacked boxes in storage facility" you could write "Improved inventory management, leading to 12% increase in turnaround time."

Be sure to not stretch the truth - or lie. If caught, this could be detrimental to your career.

8. Incorrect Formatting

Make sure your resume looks nice. You can use a resume template if you like, but you may want to personalize it a bit. (Just don't overdo it.)

It's up to you what you want to put first, but be consistent; if you're doing it chronologically, make sure everything on the resume is chronological. Be sure to use bullet points instead of paragraphs, and don't forget to include your name and contact information at or near the top.

Unless you're applying to a creative job (marketing, hair stylist, etc.) keep the resume in black and white.

9. Does Not Highlight Your Skills

Somewhere in the resume you should specifically point out your skills if your education or work experience hasn't already done this for you. It could be a separate section, or part of your education section, but make sure it's there.

10. References Included in Resume

You only need referenced if your employer requests it. Don't list them on your resume. Even the phrase "Referenced available upon request." can be left off, because it's assumed you will be able to provide references.

Remember not to make these 10 mistakes, and your resume will be on track to getting you an interview!

Kieran Scott

Business Careers Guide

Career Motivation

Here's some motivation for turning your career around.

A year ago, Jane Morrisey was unemployed. Read about how she turned her life around. Just goes to show that a little perseverance pays off!


This is a technorati claim token!

Land Your Dream Job!

Looking to maximize your career? Displaced? Outplaced? Downsized? Bored? Starting out and not sure where to go? The Business Careers Guide shows you how to find and land your dream job. This comprehensive career guide shares secrets, tips, and branding and positioning tools taken from leading career coaches combined two decades spent helping students, professionals, and other job-seekers find their dream jobs. With a lot of practical tools and not too much theory, this guide can be read as few as one sitting.

The ability to use strategic marketing and positioning tools in your resume, cover letter and interviews to leverage your experience and other assets is hard to do but essential for finding your dream job. The Business Careers Guide provides job seekers with the skills they need to beat the competition, including:

  • A detailed method for creating the perfect resume
  • Tools to help you create your competitive advantage
  • An action plan for getting the an interview with the right employer
Written for people with little time who need to make a big change, this guide provides techniques for creating a powerful, attention-grabbing resume, putting together a successful job search, and making sure that employers want you. The Business Careers Guide takes you through all the steps in the process, from the beginning, until you land the job. This guide demonstrates new ways to use the traditional resume and cover letter combination to increase job search effectiveness and efficiency, and how to land the job in the interview once you get it.

Everyone should love what they do for a living—and if they don't they should make a change. This practical, prescriptive guide shows you how to find a job that will be rewarding. The Business Careers Guide covers all the job search essentials in one volume that's perfect for the busy lifestyle and time pressure that job seekers face each day. Follow this fast-track curriculum to find your dream job in record time.

For only $49, The Business Careers Guide definitely gives you value!

Searching for a Job

CBS has a great video with some job searching tips:

Resume Improvement Tips

CBS has another video with some tips on how to spruce up your resume:

Job Seeking Tips

CBS has a video with a number of great job-hunting tips: