When resume mistakes become deal-breakers

by Mar 17, 2021

When it comes to getting a job, it’s hard to overstate the importance of having a good resume. First impressions can be hard to change, and, in most cases, your resume is the first thing about you that a potential employer will encounter. Upon seeing your resume, any boss is going to make a snap judgement about you, and sometimes, this snap judgement can be a deal-breaker!

It’s easy to roll your eyes when somebody insists on proofreading – but when it comes to your resume, this advice really is priceless. It’s all too common for people to put together a CV and send it out to employers without giving it a proper proofread – only to later catch that it contained easily-avoidable mistakes. All the best resume writing services will insist that proofreading is key to perfecting your CV.

In order to make the best first impression possible, your CV needs to uphold high standards of professionalism. In order to make sure your resume is top quality, it’s crucial to have an idea of the worst resume mistakes that could end up being career deal-breakers. Below is a list of the biggest resume mistakes to avoid.


1.   Typos

It’s best to start with the basics. Nothing looks worse on a professional resume than a glaring typo. It takes away credibility from your entire resume and gives a hasty, unprofessional quality to your profile. Keep these resume grammar rules in mind when writing one.

When it comes to advancing your career in the direction you want, these simple mechanical mistakes of writing are easy to avoid. Nowadays, the many digital proofreading and grammar tools available online make for some of the best resume writing services – even though they’re the simplest!


2.   Being too vague

When reading your resume, employers will be looking for a clear and solid career history. If what you write about your experience is too vague, potential employers will likely read this as a lack of confidence, or perhaps even a deceptive tactic. Names of employers, contact details for references, and specific dates of employment all give much-needed credibility to the information you include on your resume. It can also be of great help to add a snappy description of each position you’ve held, outlining the most important elements of the job and the skills you developed.


3.   Information overload

On the flip-side from being too vague, there lies those who take writing their resume as a challenge to cram in as much information as possible. An inability to filter out unnecessary information will immediately strike a potential employer as problematic.

Good critical thinking abilities are something just about every boss is going to look for in their workers, and lacking the ability to select important information and lay it out clearly doesn’t bode well for a potential hire. Filtering irrelevant information in your resume demonstrates critical thinking, confidence, and a level of organisational ability that is sure to impress a potential employer.


4.   Fluff

It’s important to bear in mind who your audience is when you’re crafting your resume. Including too much fluff, such as internships you did ten years ago, or basic skills that don’t require explanation is one of the worst resume mistakes that employers regularly encounter. Bigger is better is not always true when it comes to a resume, so make sure you don’t lower your profile’s quality by over-extrapolating basic skills and experiences.


5.   Lack of explanation

I asked Laura Garber, a professional resume writer and career coach that worked for various companies that write resumes, and she told me: “All of the top resume writing services will tell you the importance of standing out from the crowd. Creating a resume that makes a unique impression is often the make-or-break between getting the call for an interview. If a potential employer has to sift through hundreds of applications, it’s only natural that those with the ability to create a unique impression have the best chance at success!”

Putting effort into making your professional profile visually appealing is a simple yet effective way of making a good first impression and adding something unique to your profile. Formatting your personal information in a clear and attractive way will make reading your resume a much more pleasant experience for your potential boss and increase the likelihood that they will read it thoroughly.

There are tons of online software that offer resume templates and can even assist you with optimising your formatting according to your work line and the job you’re applying for. Try Rate My Resume next time you’re stuck – it reviews and processes your resume in real time, giving instant feedback on what you’ve done well and what you could improve. With all these platforms available, there really is no excuse for an ugly resume!


6.   Submitting without a cover letter

Even if you feel you’ve honed your resume to absolute perfection, don’t let your efforts end there. Every good CV should be accompanied by a cover letter. Each cover letter should be tailored to the specific job you’re applying to. A good cover letter highlights your professional background’s most relevant aspects and your motivation in applying to this specific position at this specific company. The cover letter is the all-important frame through which a potential employer should read your resume!


Featured image courtesy of Pexels

Alina Burkova

Alina Burkova

Alina Burkova is a writer and career specialist with 8 years of experience in recruitment and human resources. With her articles, Alina aims to share her expertise and help the next generation of up-and-coming professionals achieve career success!