Top 10 pitfalls


  1. To long
  2. Most new graduates should restrict their resumes to one or two pages. If you have troubles condensing, get help from a career center or a professional writer.
  3. Typing, grammar or spelling mistakes
    These areas suggest carelessness, poor education or laziness. Don’t rely on the computer– you need a pair of eyes looking it over.
  4. Hard to read
    A poorly designed, scanned or copied resume looks unappealing. Too crowded, too small typeface, overuse of bolding, highlighting, underlining or capital letters also makes it hard to read.
  5. Too verbose
    Don’t use long or complicated sentences, keep it short and simple, and you can drop small words like a, and, the. 
  6. Too brief
    Give more than the bare essentials, give the interesting bits that put meat on the bones – but not too much.
  7. Irrelevant information
    Customize each resume to each position you are looking for, when necessary. Small shifts in attention can make a big difference. But focus only on relevant experience and interests – don’t include age, children, height, weight, etc. 
  8. Obviously generic
    Too many resumes scream – I need a job – any job! The employer needs to feel that you are interested in that particular position and company.
  9. Too snazzy
    Of course, if you are using paper, use good quality, but avoid exotic or coloured paper, photographs, binders and graphics.
  10. Boring
    Make your resume as dynamic as possible, use action verbs and use your rich vocabulary so you don’t get repetitive.
  11. Too modest
    The resume is the prime advertising spot for your talents and achievements and is in competition with the other applicants. Put your best foot forward!

Published: Fri 19 Nov 2010. Modified: Tue 10 Jan 2012