Common Resume Errors

A resume is an advertisement for a job. Make sure your resume does not include these writing errors.

  1. Unrelated to the position in question.

  2. Too long or too short.

  3. Unattractive with a poorly designed format, small type style, and crowded copy.

  4. Misspellings, poor grammar, wordiness, and repetition.

  5. Punctuation errors.

  6. Lengthy phrases, long sentences, and awkward paragraphs.

  7. Slick, amateurish, or "gimmicky" - appears over-produced.

  8. Boastful, egocentric, and aggressive.

  9. Contains dishonest, untrustworthy, or suspicious information.

  10. Missing critical categories, such as experience, skills, and education.

  11. Difficult to interpret because of poor organization and lack of focus - uncertain what the person has done or can do.

  12. Unexplained time gaps between jobs.

  13. Too many jobs in a short period of time - a job hopper with little evidence of career advancement.

  14. No evidence of past accomplishments or a pattern of performance from which to predict future performance; primarily focuses on formal duties and responsibilities that came with previous jobs.

  15. Lacks credibility and content - includes much fluff and "canned" resume language.

  16. States a strange, unclear, or vague objective.

  17. Appears over-qualified or under-qualified for the position.

  18. Includes distracting personal information that does not enhance the resume nor the candidate.

  19. Fails to include critical contact information (telephone number and e-mail address) and uses an anonymous address (P.O. Box number).

  20. Uses jargon and abbreviations unfamiliar to the reader.

  21. Embellishes name with formal titles, middle names, and nicknames which make the job candidate appear odd or strange.

  22. Repeatedly refers to "I" and appears self-centered.

  23. Includes obvious self-serving references that raise credibility questions.

  24. Sloppy, with handwritten corrections - crosses out "married" and writes "single"!

  25. Includes red flag information such as being incarcerated, fired, lawsuits or claims, health or performance problems, or stating salary figures, including salary requirements, that may be too high or too low.

SOURCE: Adapted from Military Transition to Civilian Success (Impact Publications) pages 232-234. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.