The biggest mistakes you can make on your resume

Not using the word ‘I’

Don’t talk about yourself in the third person. It’s robotic and unrealistic. Make sure to insert some personality and don’t be afraid to use the word ‘I’. Recruiters and hiring managers see so many resumes. Don’t fade into the ‘forgettable’ category by being bland. For more in depth advice about inserting your personality into your resume, check out this blog.

Only speaking on the skills required for the job

You are more than just skills. Although, yes, they have to be mentioned to make sure you are equipped to fulfill the role, they are not the end all and be all. This leads us to our next big mistake!

Leaving out your accomplishments/results/value

What is more impressive and will make a larger impact is what you achieved in your previous roles. Hiring managers love to see not just a ‘results oriented person’ but actual results. Potential employers need to be able to see the value you can add before even meeting you face to face. For example, you can discuss overcoming specific challenges as a way to prove you are a successful problem solver. It’s not enough to say you are motivated, a hard worker, professional etc. You have to use examples.


It’s important to note, this is a document that gets skimmed over often. Don’t ramble on or cram information. Whilst you probably have a lot to put down on paper, ensure you are being succinct and to the point. Furthermore, don’t leave in irrelevant information from very first or second jobs that do not include transferrable skills.

Having a ‘general’ resume you think can work for any job

Always alter your resume for the specific role or company. Even if it's just a few words to adjust or a couple extra keywords to insert. It can make a huge difference when the hiring manager notices that you, 1, made the effort to cater your resume to that company/position and 2, that you are dedicated. When you make the effort to find a position that is right for you, it will often show in the hiring process. Be passionate about the search as much as you are about the role you may step into.

Visually too cluttered

Avoid overwhelming the reader. Make sure there is significant white space between chunks of text and that all sections are titled and separated as necessary. You want someone to look at your resume and dissect it easily, not squinting, trying to find the information they need.

Wrong contact information

Your resume could be perfect, just what the hiring manager needs… but all that would be completely useless if they can’t reach you to organise an interview! Always double check your contact information and update it as necessary.

Not including some key words

You don’t want your whole resume to be keywords. But do insert some, especially a few that were mentioned in the job ad. These are the words that hiring managers or recruiters will seek out naturally and pay more attention to in order to tick off requirements of the role.

Typo’s and poor grammar

And lastly, of course, you have to proof read your resume. Make sure you have spelled things correctly as well as ensuring your sentences are clear and easy to read. Avoid grammatical errors, or any errors, especially if you’re applying for something like technical writing!

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