6 Top Resume Mistakes That Could Cost You the Job

6 Top Resume Mistakes That Could Cost You the Job

Resume mistakes are one of the easiest steps to avoid, but they still happen! Are you sure you’ve done all the steps? Some may seem obvious, but we wouldn’t remind you about them if they weren’t important. Go through this shortlist now and make sure your resume is up to the standards!


You Didn’t Spellcheck

This is crucial, as it shows a lack of follow-through. Who wants someone who isn’t professional enough to check the spelling and grammar of their resume? Make sure that the words make sense for their context, as well. The words “there”, “they’re”, and “their” will all pass through spell-check, but they mean very different things! If you’ve been reading and re-reading your resume over and over, it can be easy to miss something small. In that case, we recommend you have someone else read it as well. Don’t trust spellcheck to do everything for you, but do check it!


Incorrect or Missing Contact Information

No one will be able to reach you if the phone number or email is wrong, so make sure you check it! This is particularly common when people use a social media platform to apply to a position, but it always needs to be correct. After going through all the effort to make a resume and apply, you’d be kicking yourself if the phone number or contact information wasn’t correct. Make sure that if you want them to contact you by phone, that your voicemail box is set up and has enough space for a hiring manager or recruiter to leave you a message. You’d be amazed at how many people don’t do that simple step!


Unprofessional Email Address

While a funny or cutesy email address might seem like a good idea when creating it, an unprofessional email doesn’t portray anyone in a good light to the hiring manager. It’s worth it to open a second email address and link it to the funny ones, so all the mail still only goes to one email. For instance, if you’re using a Gmail address, you can make a second (and professional) Gmail address, and link the two together.  This way you still only check the one email address that you’ve been using this whole time, but without compromising your professional reputation.

How to Link Multiple Gmail Addresses In 4 Easy Steps


Outdated or Irrelevant Information

Please don’t list family information, politics, minor in college, or any other personal information unless it’s directly related to the position. Telling everyone what you used to do 10, 20, or 30 years ago just makes you appear out of touch with the current industry. Unless the job posting requires a certain amount of past experience in that line of work, there’s no need to include what you were doing that long ago.


Resume Mistakes Include Making It Too Long

The average attention span is short, so make sure your resume is in short easy-to-digest chunks of information. Use bullet points instead of paragraphs, highlighting what accomplishments are most relevant to your dream position. Don’t cram in every single thing you were responsible for – just highlight the biggest achievements or contributions.

While it’s no longer extremely important to keep your resume to one page, more than two is usually pushing it. Unless the position you’re applying to requires lots of details about where you were twenty or thirty years ago, there’s no need for this much information. You can always sum it up at the end and let the hiring manager or recruiter ask you if they need more details.


Listing Responsibilities Instead of Accomplishments

This may be one of the most common resume mistakes that most people make! If your descriptions of your past jobs only list what you did or were responsible for, it’s very hard for anyone to judge how well you did your job. The hiring manager wants to be certain that an interview with you will be worth it, let alone hiring you! Make certain they know exactly how good you were by listing solid numbers and examples of your success!

Using distinct numbers will also make a giant difference. Writing “I increased sales in my department” versus “I increased sales in my department by 10%” shows you right there that this person has a way to back up what they did – and how well! That’s the kind of difference that gets a job interview instead of not. Listing the bare basics will always lose out to firm examples. Make sure they know why you’re the one to hire!

Another example might be if you trained someone, saved the company any money, saved any time, or improved a process. The point is that you want to give a specific example of your accomplishments, no matter what your job was. Figure out what you did above and beyond your job description, what you received compliments for, and what made you great at your job. That will do more for you than listing every job responsibility that was required.


There you have the full list of the most common resume mistakes! Remember to spellcheck, update your contact information, have a professional email address, remove any outdated information, and be sure to list your accomplishments instead of your responsibilities.

Be sure to check out our other relevant articles:

How to Write the Best Resume Objective

How to Write a Cover Letter

Must-Read Resume Tips for Changing Careers

How To Overcome the Experience Requirement

How to Answer the Greatest Weakness Question in an Interview

5 Free Online Computer Courses That Will Help Start an I.T. Career