3 Biggest Resume Mistakes (And How To Fix Them)

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When you’re looking for a new job, your resume is your calling card. Often the potential employer is meeting you for the first time. Obviously, you want to make a good first impression. This means you don’t want a resume that leaves potential employers shaking their heads.

When most people think of errors, they think of misspelled words, incorrect formatting, and typos. These things are easy to avoid by carefully proofreading your documents. But there are other resume mistakes you probably don’t realize you’re making. These mistakes can look pretty inconspicuous, but they’re easy to fix if you catch them before it’s too late.

Here are the three biggest resume mistakes.


The first thing a recruiter might do after receiving your resume is check you out on LinkedIn. This often happens when discrepancies appear because the information on your resume may not match the information on your LinkedIn profile. This doesn’t mean that your resume and LinkedIn profile should be mirror images. But they should match when it comes to current and former employers, job titles, and dates of employment.

Unfortunately, when candidates prepare a resume, they often “bundle” their entire work to the employer under their current (and probably most prestigious) title. This is bad for two reasons. First, it fails to show career progression. Second, it makes employers wonder what other inaccuracies they might find.

Incomplete contact information

Man on laptop finds contact information to post resume


This may sound silly, but some people are so focused on the meat of their resume that they forget to include their contact information. When you’re looking for a job, it’s important to make it easy for interested parties to contact you. Some recruiters prefer to contact candidates via email. Others will prefer to just call.

Of course, if they really want to contact you, it’s not impossible to find your phone number or email address. But why would you want to make a potential employer jump through hoops? Be respectful of others’ preferred communication styles by providing complete contact information. While you’re at it, put your LinkedIn URL on your resume, too.

Irrelevant information

A woman reads her resume on her laptopBigstock:

Resumes that emphasize outside activities that directly conflict with the candidate’s job aspirations are simply a waste of valuable space. Think of an accountant with a jewelry design side business. Or resumes that include sports activities, such as being on the soccer team when the candidate graduated 15 years ago. While you’re at it, unless you graduated within the last five years, there’s no reason to include graduation dates or your GPA.

Besides being relevant, including a few lines about leading a college team to victory (unless you’re a recent grad) takes up valuable space that can be used to focus on your skills and accomplishments; employers actually care.

Your resume should make a good first impression that will make the recruiter or hiring manager want to know more and possibly contact you for an interview. Don’t waste space with irrelevant information. Don’t confuse them with misfits or make them go into detective mode to find you. Begin your relationship with a potential employer as a winning candidate.

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This article was originally published on an earlier date.

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