Written by

Ryan Cadby Boosted Resume Co Founder

Ryan Cadby


Mar 27, 2024

5 Common Resume Mistakes That Can Cost You The Job

Your resume is your first line of communication with a potential employer. It should be a crisp, concise, and powerful document that showcases your professional achievements, skills, and experiences. However, sometimes even the most experienced professionals can make mistakes that can undermine their chances of landing the job. Let’s explore the top five common resume mistakes that you should avoid at all costs.

a young girl realizing the mistakes she made on her resume

1. Typos and Grammatical Errors

The significance of a well-edited, error-free resume can’t be overstressed. Spelling errors, typos, and grammatical mistakes can make your resume look sloppy and unprofessional. It might send a signal that you lack attention to detail or that you don’t take the task seriously. Avoid this mistake by always proofreading your resume several times. Consider using grammar and spell check tools, or ask a trusted friend or family member to review it. Don’t let a misplaced comma or a typo stand between you and your dream job.

2. Lack of Specifics

Vague descriptions and generic phrases do nothing to highlight your skills and competencies. Simply stating that you’re a ‘team player’ or ‘results-driven’ doesn’t give the recruiter a clear idea of what you can bring to the table. Instead, focus on giving specifics. Include numbers and percentages to quantify your achievements. For example, instead of saying “Improved sales,” you might say, “Boosted sales by 20% in the first quarter.” This not only demonstrates your capabilities but also gives employers a clear picture of your impact.

3. Overcrowded and Poorly Organized Layout

Employers spend only a few seconds scanning each resume before deciding if it’s worth a closer look. An overcrowded, poorly formatted resume can be difficult to read and might discourage recruiters from delving further into your details. A clean, well-organized layout with plenty of white space can make a huge difference. Also, use bullet points to make your achievements and experiences more readable. Remember to balance the amount of information with a neat and tidy presentation.

4. Inconsistent Formatting and Style

Inconsistency in formatting and style can make your resume confusing and hard to follow. Make sure that you maintain a consistent style throughout your resume. This applies to font size, type, bullet style, and the overall layout. If you are using dates, keep the format consistent. For example, if you use month/year format in one job entry, maintain the same format throughout. Consistent formatting and style not only improve readability but also show your attention to detail.

5. Irrelevant Information

Not every detail from your professional or personal life belongs in your resume. Lengthy, irrelevant information can distract the employer from your key qualifications. For instance, your summer job as a lifeguard may not be relevant if you’re applying for a software development role, unless it showcases transferable skills. Prioritize information that aligns with the job description and showcases how you’re a good fit for the role.

Remember, your resume is a marketing tool. It should effectively sell your skills, experience, and achievements to a potential employer. Avoiding these common mistakes will make your resume stand out in the competitive job market. Spend time fine-tuning and tailoring your resume for each job you apply for, because a one-size-fits-all resume rarely meets the mark.

Creating a stellar resume can take time and effort, but by avoiding these common pitfalls, you can increase your chances of grabbing the employer’s attention and landing that coveted interview.