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Common Resume Writing Mistakes

We’ve surveyed scores of prime employers, career counselors, and employment agencies to determine what they feel are the most common repeated mistakes in the thousands of resumes they see.


Here are the top (bottom) ten:

  1. Too long (preferred length is one page- two pages is fine if space is utilized well).
  2. Disorganized – information is scattered around the page – hard to follow
  3. Poorly typed and printed – hard to read – looks unprofessional
  4. Overwritten – long paragraphs and sentences – takes too long to say too little
  5. Too sparse – gives only bare essentials of dates and job titles
  6. Not oriented for results – doesn’t show what the candidate accomplished on the job
  7. Too many irrelevancies – height, weight, sex, health, marital status are not needed on today’s resumes
  8. Misspellings, typographical errors, poor grammar – resumes should be carefully proofread before they are printed and mailed.
  9. Tries too hard – fancy typesetting and binders, photographs and exotic paper distract from the clarity of the presentation
  10. Misdirected – too many resumes arrive on employers' desks unrequested, and with little or no apparent connection to the organization – cover letters would help avoid this.