4 Résumé Mistakes You Must Avoid

It's work looking for a job. And, too often, an AI bot is going to scan and reject your résumé for some, minor mistake.

But it doesn't have to be that way, if you avoid these common mistakes.

Typos, Misspellings, and Poor Grammar

With all the tools we have, it’s amazing that these mistakes are still the most common. To ensure that your résumé avoids them, do this: Print a copy, grab a pen, and read it out loud. Yup. Print it and read it out loud. Why? Because it’s easy, too easy, to miss mistakes staring at a screen, especially if you’re using your phone. Printing changes the format, making it look “new” to your eyes. Reading it out loud slows your eyes down, making it more likely you’ll see those sneaky errors.

Talking About What You did and Not What You Accomplished

Hiring managers want to see what you can do, not how you kept yourself busy. Compare these to see the difference:

Poor Better
Worked on social media marking team. Developed 15+ SEO-optimized blog posts per month, accumulating over 500,000 organic impressions per quarter.
Software Developer working on internal customer order system. Designed and implemented 6 customer-requested features that helped reduce order intake errors by 23%.
Sales representative for local window manufacturer. Top sales representative for local window manufacturer, with sales exceeding targets by 15% resulting in $3M additional annual revenue.

The idea is to show clearly the difference you made in the role, not how you warmed the seat.

Using the Same Résumé for Every Job

Remember, you are not applying for any job, you are applying for this job. Managers want to see that you know the position for which your are applying. Do that by tailoring your résumé to the position. You don’t need to rewrite it, but it should fit the job. Here are some ideas:

  • Emphasize accomplishments relevant to the position
  • Highlight skills they require, especially any requested in the job listing
  • Write your summary to reflect the position (instead of something generic)
  • Include keywords, as appropriate, from the job listing

Everybody is a “Team Player,” Don’t You Be One

Sure, you should be a team player, but you shouldn’t say you are a team player. Why? It’s a vague and meaningless buzzword. Show you are a team player through your accomplishments. When your résumé needs a short word or phrase, take a look at list of 100+ Good Resume Buzzwords over at resumegenius. Also, prefer words that show action to those that merely describe. Don't say:

Lead Engineer on internal CMS

Instead say:

Led Engineering team providing support and feature development to internal CMS.

It's even better when you can, as we saw above, include clear accomplishments.

Finding a new position is hard work. Don’t make it any harder than necessary by avoiding these errors. For more recommendations, resumegenuis offers a helpful list.