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These Are the 5 Common Resume Mistakes to Avoid

Published: June 20, 2016 | Updated: September 8, 2020

If you think of your resume like a still photograph of your employment history, you’re thinking about it all wrong! Your resume needs to be ever-changing, evolving with you, your career, and the new positions you might want to pursue. What other mistakes are you making with your resume and job application? Check out these five mahor resume mistakes you want to avoid.

1. Resumes Cannot Have Types of Grammatical Errors

The easiest to avoid and most common mistake that could derail your chances at a new job is a sloppily prepared resume. According to a 2013 CareerBuilder, 58% of employers called out typos as one of the top reasons they toss a resume. Make certain you double and triple check your resume for these common errors. And don’t just rely on spell check. To, too, and two are all spelled correctly, but are you using them correctly? And do you use action verbs to highlight your experiences and skills? Have another set of eyes read over your resume to make certain your resume is picture perfect and error free.

2. Don't Use the Same Resume for Different Job Openings

You wouldn’t send the same cover letter for two different job openings, so don’t use the same resume! Customize your resume to the position and the company. Use keywords from the job posting to beat applicant tracking systems and avoid having your resume blocked by a computer. The more customized your resume, the more it—and you—will seem like a true fit to the job.

3. Avoid Simple Errors and Inaccuracies on Your Resume

If you call yourself a manager on your resume, but have never actually managed anyone, that lie could do more than cost you the chance at a single job. It could paint you as a liar who cannot be trusted. Avoid errors with your job experience and with he other parts of your resume. Even simple errors on your resume, like wrong phone numbers, addresses, and titles, demonstrate that you have a poor attention to detail.

4. Stay Away fro Fancy Formats and Fonts on Your Resume

You want your resume to stand out –but in the right way. The use of off-putting formats and funky fonts distract from what’s important: your qualifications. While it’s okay to use colored font to highlight your name, contact information, or sections you want to draw attention to, too much color dilutes its effectiveness. The same goes for formats. You may not want a boring template, but a crazy one sends a worse message. Stick to basic bullet points when you write a resume.

5. Make Sure the Job Is a Match Before You Submit a Resume

If you’re honest on your resume and it honestly shows that you’re just not qualified for the position, what are you doing wasting the hiring manager’s time? Before you create or customize your resume for a job, make certain that you’re a custom fit.


At Charter College, we know the most important way to make your resume work is to have the skills to back up every item on it with education and experience. Check out all the career training programs, and when you’re ready to enter the workforce, our career services team can help you create a killer resume.