There are a number of resume mistakes that are depressingly common. Here are some of the most common resume mistakes along with the reasons they are mistakes and how to avoid making them yourself.

job rejection

Poor Formatting

Poor formatting will hurt even a well-written resume. Misaligned indents and excessive spacing will undermine a resume though it is free of spelling and grammar mistakes. Always work to get the resume on a single page, since few people will scroll to the next screen and fewer will go to page 2.

Another factor to consider is your style of resume relative to the type of job. A resume that lists your most successful projects may trip up someone looking for your work history. Try to import the resume into a database that sorts that way, and you’ve just ruined your prospects. If you have employment gaps, you can either leave dates off the resume altogether or switch to a format that emphasizes relevant experience instead of trying to gloss over half a dozen recent, unrelated positions.

Bad Fonts

Yes, you can choose the wrong fonts for your resume. Any resume that’s hard to read will lose out to one that is. Worse yet, fonts that confuse the artificial intelligences scanning your resume will prevent your resume from reaching the managers doing a search of their databases of stored resumes or those posted on various websites.

Don’t try to express your creativity with a funky font or a variety of fonts. This makes it harder to read even if the computer can read it. The best font for your resume is easily ready by humans and artificial intelligences alike.


How can you make your resume appear immature? It could be as simple as starting off with “Dude” instead of “Dear Sir or Madam”. At least the latter option is attempting to be respectful. Listing hobbies that have no bearing on the job or characteristics the company would consider ideal in a candidate hurt you. For example, listing your role as treasurer in an organization is relevant if you’re applying for a cash management or financial position. That it was in D&D or the Bart Simpson fan club, though, could hurt you. A more subtle sign of immaturity is that you failed to customize the job to the position you want. This is where a generic cover letter hurts your prospects even if the resume is a perfect fit.

A Lack of Specifics

A common mistake is a lack of specifics on your resume. Managers want to know what you accomplished so they can use that as a metric for deciding between you and someone else. The person who has managed 500,000 dollar projects isn’t qualified to manage 50 million dollar construction projects, but they’re probably suitable for middle management. The person who increased sales 20 percent year over year or won salesperson of the year is going to be more attractive than one who lists they worked in sales. Listing how many people you supervised as an assistant manager or night shift manager allows you to stand out from those who merely list “assistant manager”. Always prioritize accomplishments over jo