Really Want the Job? The 10 Resume Mistakes You Need to Know

Are you wondering why your resume is not getting the attention you’re looking for, that it deserves?

Many assume that the resume’s objective is to document job experience, when really the purpose is to convey your qualifications for a role and create interest such that you are invited for an interview:  to compel action.  You owe it to yourself to invest in your primary marketing tool, ensuring that you avoid the worst resume mistakes and let your brilliance truly shine through.


The pitfalls start with formatting.  If your resume is too hard to read or too distracting, your resume reviewer will not even look at the content! Did you know that the average resume screener looks at your resume for 6 seconds?  Make sure you capture and hold their attention.

Pitfall #1:  Strictly chronological or functional format.

Solution:  Use a hybrid of the two formats.


Pitfall #2:  Not enough whitespace. 

Solution:  More whitespace. 


Pitfall #3:  Multiple, uncommon fonts. 

Solution:  Stick to one traditional sans serif font (10 or 11pt) such as Ariel, Tahoma, or Verdana. 


Pitfall #4:  Artsy layouts and designs.

Solution:  A traditional, clean, visually appealing resume will take you further.



Now that you’ve avoided the biggest formatting blunders, the resume reader can now focus on your content.  Will you demonstrate that you’re a perfect fit for the job?  Avoid these content pitfalls:

Pitfall #5:  Lack of focus. 

Solution:  Include a headline. 


Pitfall #6:  Too generic

Solution:   Tailor each resume to the unique opportunity. 


Pitfall #7:  Responsibilities, responsibilities, responsibilities. 

Solution:  Briefly outline your responsibilities, but focus on the challenges, action you took and impact for each role. 


Pitfall #8: Accomplishments lack substance. 

Solution:  Illustrate how impressive your work was with quantifiable, verifiable facts. 


Pitfall #9:  Too wordy.

Solution:  Select shorter, clear, action words that best describe your achievements. 


Pitfall #10:  Rush Job. 

Solution:  Have someone look at every application you send out. 


A well put-together resume that avoids these pitfalls will inspire the right action and get you in the door.

For more information, refer to my complete LinkedIn article.