One of the most critical parts of any job search is ensuring that you avoid making common Resume mistakes. This means that you need to prepare a high-quality Resume that is free from common Resume mistakes that recruiters hate!

Recruiters and hiring managers will often receive 200+ Resumes for just one job they’re advertising. Because of this, they only have a limited time to read each Resume.

If your Resume is strong, you’ll be put to one side for further consideration and, hopefully, an interview. If not, you’re out!

It is vital to be aware of what the key elements of a successful Resume are. This is so that you can concentrate on honing your writing skills in these areas. This should be done before addressing other elements such as layout and design. However, before you start writing your Resume, you should know which Resume mistakes to avoid. 

Sometimes all it takes is one Resume mistake to lose out on the job – check your application before you send it, and make sure to avoid these missteps.


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Resume Mistakes to avoid to get more job interviews! 

1. Spelling and Grammatical Errors

How your Resume looks is the first thing the reader will take in – if they see any mistakes, you’ve already lost out on the job. 

These mistakes show a lack of attention to detail, and if you’re making resume mistakes here you might make mistakes for the company – something they can’t allow.

Your Resume is an opportunity to show prospective employers that you have the required language skills.

Spelling and grammatical errors are common Resume mistakes and are the fastest way to have your application rejected.

A spellcheck is a useful tool for making sure you haven’t missed any obvious errors, and a quick scan should show if you’ve used multiple fonts or the wrong type of bullet point, but this is no substitute for re-reading from the beginning.

2. Writing Too Much

A concise Resume that is easy to follow will leave the reader wanting to know more about its author. By the same token, including irrelevant details and filling up space for the sake of it will lead the recruiter to think that your application lacks substance.

Try to keep your Resume to no more than two to three pages. A Resume that is more than three pages is a basic Resume mistake to avoid. Be sure to highlight your most relevant achievements and skills as well! But make sure to match your skills and achievements to the key selection criteria mentioned in the position description.

3. Career Objective

You’ll hear mixed things about this one – some like them, others don’t. A stronger version of this is the Profile Statement.

Rather than saying what you’d like to do, a Profile Statement tells the reader what skills and experience you can bring to the role.

Here, you show how many years you’ve been working in your field, your job title, as well as your key qualifications and experience related to the role. Perhaps throw in a key highlight too – to show what you can bring to the role. It’s a 5-second statement that should grab the reader’s attention.

Need help writing your profile statement? Feel free to send us your Resume for a free assessment.

4. Hobbies and Interests

When a recruiter or hiring manager is reading your Resume, they want and need to see specific facts about your professional life – specific skills related to your field, responsibilities and achievements.

Anything else, from hobbies and interests to being a ‘dog person’ is just wasting their time, and taking up space that you could use for the content they want to see.

This is also the case for photos, your age and marital status.

5. Outdated Resume Information

It is important to keep your Resume up to date. Your potential employer will want to see that you have kept your skills current and are ready to step straight into the role.

Tailor your Resume to the particular position you are applying for, highlighting any career achievements and specialised skills. But, remember to leave off anything which could be seen as irrelevant. This is a common Resume mistake that most people make. 

6. Not Being Specific

When crafting your Resume, it is important that you can succinctly express which areas of an organisation you were responsible for, the actions you took, and the measurable impacts that they had on the business.

If you are too vague about your role within a previous company, the person in charge of hiring may assume that you either haven’t put much thought into your application or, worse, that you coasted through your time at a previous job.

 7. Relying on Clichés

Now it is important to have specific keywords to pass through an Application Tracking Software System. But, an over-reliance on buzzwords and clichés will inevitably be picked up by human recruiters. Using annoying ‘buzzwords’ like “team-player” or “hard-working” are obvious Resume mistakes to avoid without fail! 

If you’ve ever seen an exaggerated career-oriented character on TV, you know the kind of words I mean. Many recruiters actively dislike words like ‘synergy’ and ‘thinks outside the box’ – they’re stock words and phrases that are overused and don’t show what the reader wants to see about you.

Other words that they also dislike include ‘go-getter’ and ‘go-to-person’, ‘hard worker’ and ‘team player’Demonstrating these skills and attributes, in other words, is fine, and even encouraged, but buzzwords like these will make the recruiter or hiring manager think poorly of you – something you want to avoid.

Being able to state your experience and abilities in your own words is a skill worth investing in.

8. Generic Bullet Points

In the employment history section of your Resume, you should have a ‘responsibilities’ section and an ‘achievements’ section. If you’re an engineer or software developer, you may structure this differently – perhaps by the project.

Each bullet point should start with an action word or verb such as: developing, managing, leading, organising, creating, designing or coordinating.

One of the biggest mistakes is using the word ‘responsible for’. This is the language used in a job advertisement! Avoid saying ‘responsible for coordinating material to site’. Instead, use an action word and turn it into ‘Managing the delivery of $200K materials such as steel, concrete and bricks to site – achieving 100% delivery schedule target’.

9. Not Using a Professional Format

It is an unfortunate fact of life that people who are responsible for hiring staff look for what is wrong with a Resume more than what is right with it. They are on the lookout for common Resume mistakes so that they can rule you out.

They are usually inundated with so many applications for a position that they have time to glance only briefly at each one. Quickly they will eliminate enough candidates so that they can get things down to a more manageable level.

Recruiters will dismiss applications based upon seemingly arbitrary factors such as font choice, layout or because the author is seeming to be too creative.

Having your keyword-optimised professional profile statement, key skills list, employment history and qualifications arranged in a professional-looking format is crucial.

10. Not Tailoring Your Resume

Sending out the same Resume to every job you apply for may seem to improve your chances mathematically. However, unless the skills and experience match those on the job advertisement, it might not work.

Instead, take the time to analyse the selection criteria and see how it mirrors your own work history. Then structure your Resume so that it highlights the skills you have that are the most relevant to the position on offer.

Sending out the same Resume time and time again isn’t effective and is one of the key Resume mistakes to avoid when you are job hunting. 

Avoid Making Common Resume Mistakes!

Become aware of these common Resume mistakes. Being aware of these common Resume writing mistakes, and having the knowledge and skills to correct them, will greatly increase your chances of securing that much sought after interview.

You can also contact us for a Resume assessment. We’re happy to give you a few pointers on how to make your Resume better. What’s more, we will certainly help you fix the common Resume mistakes that could be costing you job interviews! 

Good luck with your job search!
Careers Team, Career Success Australia