9 Glaring Résumé Mistakes Not to Make

Resume MistakesWhile good old paper may seem passé in the digital age, LinkedIn hasn't quite replaced the old-fashioned résumé.

"Résumés are the heartbeat of a career search,” says Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, a career and workplace adviser at Glassdoor. “If done well, your résumé will tell your story and sell you.”

And that hasn't changed with the rise of high-tech options. “Even as technology has advanced and changed the way job seekers find open positions, the résumé remains an integral part of the hiring process,” adds Matt Tarpey, a career adviser with CareerBuilder.

Then again, a less-than-stellar résumé can also work against you. To keep that from happening, we asked Barrett-Poindexter, Tarpey and Maele Hargett, an executive recruiter with Ascendo Resources, to highlight the most egregious résumé mistakes they see over and over—and explain how you can avoid these missteps.

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  • Steven Griswold

    My additions to crank this list to 11?
    - Save your resume as a PDF. This is easily and quickly done with any computer these days and ensures uniform formatting and display. Word .DOC or .DOCX can sometimes look wonky on different platforms, especially if a nonstandard font or template is used. By no means should you ever send it in another format, such as WPS, RTF, or a link to an online resume. If I can’t open your resume, you’re toast.
    - It’s fine to apply for jobs that are technically out of your league – especially if you think you have the chops to take it on. But show a modicum of respect for the hiring party and save your “hail mary” applications. If you have no business applying for the job (read: you don’t meet even the minimum / essential qualifications), all you’re doing is wasting time. Roughly 40% of the applications I received for a position requiring a valid insurance license and 2 years’ experience in the industry showed neither of those.

    • Mike Ouyang

      This is a yes and no. PDFs are clean and do maintain formatting, but recruiters are often required to make formatting changes anyway such as putting their company logo or needing to condense a resume. PDFs makes it difficult for them to make those changes quickly. I would recommend either asking which version they would prefer or send both versions.

      • lookiluke

        Good point!