12 common resume mistakes (and how to fix them)

Have you made any of these top resume mistakes? If so, take some time to revisit, review, and update your resume before you apply for your next job.

resume crumpled

Writing a resume is not an easy task, no matter how long you've been in the game or how confident you are in your skills and experience. But there are steps you can take to make the process easier and turn your resume into a document that gets noticed for the right reasons.

If your resume isn’t getting the attention you want, there’s a good chance you’ve made at least one of these all-too-common mistakes.

1. Allowing inconsistencies

Even something as seemingly insignificant as your start dates not lining up correctly can raise a red flag for employers.

"Check your dates. You want to make sure that everything is exactly the same, everywhere — on LinkedIn, on your resume, on your employment records — because we can and will check. Another area is your job title. Don't try and fool us with an inflated or different job title than you actually had. Again, this is easily verified," says Frank Dadah, managing director, accounting, finance & administrative contract staffing at WinterWyman.

Fix this mistake: Before you send out your resume, make sure all the information aligns with your LinkedIn profile and employment records.

2. Letting it run long

The standard advice on resume length is to keep it to one or two pages. Entry-level and junior employees will have a resume that’s closer to one page, but as you advance in your career, you’ll have more valuable information to start filling up the second page. A seasoned IT pro might easily fill 3 pages, even after eliminating outdated skills and experience.

The question of how long is too long comes down to this: If your resume includes anything but the most pertinent information, it's too long. Outline your most impressive accomplishments, accolades and achievements to draw a recruiter or hiring manager in.

Fix this mistake: Learn how to keep your resume short, sweet and to the point and when that's not possible, how to effectively break the rules.

3. Failing to focus

Establishing a focus for your resume can give you a reference point to tie everything back to as you write and edit and will help create a sense of flow between your work experience, skills and accomplishments.

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