Most Common Mistakes in a Resume [2018] ? How to Avoid Them

2017 July 17
5 min read

Top 9 Resume Mistakes

1. Using the Same Resume For Multiple Job Applications 

It commonly happens that due to lack of time or complexity, people are sending the same version of their résumé to multiple job openings, which require different skills or knowledge or are in various industries. 

Even when the companies are in the same industry, their culture and needs might differ. Therefore, your job application needs to be adjusted for each particular job you are applying for. 

One of our early users was congratulated, and her résumé easily spotted because she used the exact color theme as the company’s color. To help you with adjusting your application for each position, we made it easy to create up to 18 different versions of your résumé or Cover Letter for each specific Data set. 

different resume versions novoresume

2. Including Personal Information 

In the past, employers might have asked personal information such as your marital status, your nationality, religious beliefs, but this is not the case anymore since it is illegal for employers to ask and make their hiring decisions on factors such as those. 

Therefore, you should not use valuable space for including information that the employer may not use, and rather focus on showing how you are the perfect fit for the position they advertised in the job announcement. 

3. Writing Too Much Text   

Sometimes “Less, is More,” and this principle also applies in the case of your job application. Focus on content quality, not quantity. Too much information might distract the employer or recruiter from understanding how you can add value to their job opening. On average, the recruiter spends 7 seconds reviewing your résumé, so you need to make them count. Write short and concise sentences starting with an action verb, focus on your achievements, and use numbers or percentages when possible.

4. Unprofessional Email Address 

There is no excuse for not having a professional email address when you are applying for jobs since there are lots of free email service provider and it will take you less than 2 minutes to create a new email address. 

It should be a simple variation of your first and last names.





5. Social Media Profiles Not Related To the Specific Job 

Before applying for any job, you should do an audit and check all your social media profiles that appear when you search your name on Google. 

Then remember only to include the ones that are relevant to the job you are applying for, therefore do not add your Pinterest profile or Instagram if you are applying for a Lawyer position. Instead, remember to list your LinkedIn profile and personal website or blog if you have one. 

6. Outdated, Unreadable, or Fancy Fonts 

The font you are choosing has a great impact on the readability of your application, therefore it is not advised to use fonts that might be hard to read (both in PDF and on paper) or fonts that are too extravagant. The fonts available on have been thoroughly tested by employers and recruiters to ensure an increased readability making sure your job application will be read and properly understood. 

bad fonts for resume

7. Too Many Buzzwords or Forced Keywords 

There is the tendency of including buzzwords or keywords from industry, but outside of their context, which will decrease the credibility of your job application. Some of the buzzwords and overused terms that you should avoid are: 

  • Strategic thinker 
  • Best of breed 
  • Go-to person
  • Problem solving skills
  • Hardworking 
  • Detail-oriented 
  • Dynamic 
  • Thinking outside the box

8. Being Too Ambiguous 


When talking about examples of your achievements, instead of writing that it took you a “few” or “several” months to finish a project, mention exactly the period you worked on it “Successfully implemented the new infrastructure in 4 months.”

If you are mentioning that you exceeded the sales targets or the customers need, make sure to explain exactly how you did it and by how much. 

By being too ambiguous, your content might sound like it was made up and it is not trustworthy. 

9. Spelling or Grammar Mistakes 

In most cases, one single spelling or grammar mistake might be the obstacle between you and your dream job. By having these kinds of mistakes in your job application, it shows the recruiter or employer that you did not take the job application process seriously, and you are not entirely committed. Before you send your application, make sure you proofread it and give it to someone you trust as well for reading it, since you might be biased.

General DOs and DON'Ts You Should Consider As Well

General DOs

  • Tailor your summary to include elements of the job description for each position you are applying for. 
  • Focus on specific results of your work, significant achievements and recognition received. 
  • Remember that “Less, is More!” Keep your résumé to one page if you do not have more than 5 years of relevant work experience. 
  • Tailor your résumé for each specific job you are applying for.

General DON'Ts

  • Submit the same résumé to every employer, regardless of the position. 
  • Mention “salary negotiable” or “reference available upon request.”
  • Use acronyms or jargons. 
  • Include routine job duties, such as: “making copies.”
  • Overuse the personal pronouns “I,” “me” or “my.” 
  • Say you were laid off or fired from your last position. 
  • Assume when writing your job application.

Example of a Good Resume

Consider going through the following Checklist every time before you submit your resume:

Ask Yourself The Following Questions Before Sending Your Resume

  • Is your name, address, phone number and email address at the top of the page? 
  • Can an employer understand the main sections within 7 to 10 seconds? 
  • Did you write your résumé for each specific position by including the key skills and experiences the employer wants? 
  • Is the information listed in order of importance and relevance to the requirements listed in the job description? 
  • Do most phrases begin with an action verb, such as “conducted,” “implemented,” “increased,” etc.? 
  • Have you been accurate and truthful about your accomplishments rather than being too modest or exaggerating? 
  • Did you double check the spelling of every word and made sure the grammar and punctuation are correct? 

In case you need more information regarding the your résumé and Cover Letter, check out our professional guides on how to write a résumé and how to write a Cover Letter

Now that you know what mistakes to avoid when writing your job application, you can try out our free résumé builder for creating a professional job application!