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10 common resume mistakes to avoid when applying for jobs

Online Learning

Blog Date
February 16,

Your resume outlines your experience, education, and talents to convince hiring managers that you’re a suitable fit for the role. Making sure you avoid typical resume blunders is among the most important aspects of any job hunt. This implies you must create a high-quality resume devoid of the common errors that turn off recruiters. 

Hiring managers and recruiters may receive 200 or more resumes for just one position they are advertising, and as a result, they only have a short time to review each resume. If your resume is exceptional, you will be considered further and, ideally, invited for an interview. Proofread your resume before sending it and watch out for these mistakes because sometimes all it takes is one resume error to forfeit a job. In actuality, there are several specific resume errors that almost everyone commits, whether they are senior professionals with ten years of experience or recent graduates. But if you get them perfect, you’ll be on your road to your ideal position! 

Common mistakes to avoid when building your resume

The most common mistakes candidates make when working on their resumes include the following:

  1. Grammar and spelling mistakes

Grammar and spelling are frequent resume faults that quickly cause your candidacy to be disapproved. The first thing an employer will notice about your resume is its look; if they find any errors, you’ve probably lost the job. These errors demonstrate a need for more focus on detail, and if you make them on your resume, you run the possibility of making blunders for the business, which they cannot abide by. You get the chance to exhibit that you possess the necessary linguistic skills on your resume to potential employers. A spellcheck is a handy aid for ensuring that you have noticed all glaring mistakes, and a fast glance may reveal if you’ve used various typefaces or the incorrect bullet point. 

  1. Dragging things out or leaving things undone

There are no set guidelines for resume length, unlike what you might hear or learn, considering that it will be read by employers who have various expectations and preferences. Many candidates strive to fit all their experiences into limited space as they’ve learned resumes must be at most two pages. Job applicants might then omit noteworthy accomplishments. Of course, this does not imply that you need to start writing five-page resumes. Some candidates blather on and on about duplicate or irrelevant experiences. The recruiter will believe that your application needs to be revised if you include unrelated facts and fill in blanks for no apparent reason. You should keep your CV to a maximum of two pages. 

  1. Utilizing cliches

Specific keywords nowadays are mandatory for an applicant tracking software program to process them. However, human recruiters will unavoidably detect an over-reliance on clichés and jargon. Avoid adding obnoxious “buzzwords” on your resume, such as “team player” or “hard worker,” at all costs. These overdone catchphrases don’t reveal the qualities the reader is looking for. Employers also detest the terms “go-getter,” “go-to person,” or “strong work ethic.” Illustrating these qualities and skills is acceptable and even welcomed, but using clichés like these can make the prospective employer perceive you negatively, a scenario you would like to prevent. Developing the ability to articulate your experience and skills in your own words is worthwhile.

  1. Emphasizing duties rather than achievements

It’s crucial to highlight your skills on your CV, but it’s all simple to fall into the trap of only stating your duties; that repeats what your job description says. Employers, however, are more interested in your achievements across a range of activities than what you have done. One of the most fundamental resume hints is to go beyond simply listing your abilities and illustrate how you added value to each employer by giving concrete instances.

Think about the following:

  • How did you outperform others in your job?
  • What issues or difficulties did you encounter? Describe how you addressed them. What was the outcome? How did your efforts benefit the organization?
  • Did this result in any accolades or promotions for you?
  1. Including references

Even though employers frequently request references as a part of the hiring process, it’s normally optional to list them on a resume. Employers typically ask for references later in the recruiting process after they’ve reviewed the resumes of prospects. Only include references if a potential employer directly requests them on your CV. If you need help, you can make a different document just for your reference. Use the same header, font, and style in this document that you did in your resume to keep the consistency of your relevant documentation.

  1. Outdated resume Info 

Maintaining an updated resume is crucial. Your prospective employer will want to know that you have maintained your skills up to date and are prepared to take on the work right away. Create a resume that is specific to the job you’re seeking by emphasizing any professional accomplishments and specialized abilities. But keep in mind to exclude everything that can be viewed as trivial. Most people typically commit this resume blunder.

  1. Absence of specificity

It’s crucial while writing your resume to briefly describe the organizational divisions you were in charge of, the actions you performed, and the quantifiable effects those actions had on the bottom line.

  1. No action verbs 

The first word or verb for every bullet point ought to be an action verb or term like expanding, directing, leading, organizing, generating, or managing. These words highlight your initiative and infuse more vitality into the resume’s general tone. The term “responsible for” is among the most common errors, and this is the terminology used in a job posting. For instance, using “responsible for managing material to site” is not appropriate. Change it to “Managing the supply of reserves to the site” by adding an action word to make it more readable.

  1. Lack of professional formatting

Recruiters focus more on a resume’s flaws than its strengths and search for common resume errors so they can reject you. They typically receive so many submissions for a job that they only have time to scan each one quickly. They will quickly dismiss enough applicants to reduce the number of contenders to a tolerable number. Recruiters will reject applications based on what appear to be frivolous criteria, such as font selection, layout, or the author’s apparent overuse of creativity. It’s critical to have your professional profile statement, list of vital competencies, career history, and credentials organized in a professional-looking manner and tailored using keywords.

  1. Using a “one-size-fits-all” strategy

Employers usually discard generic resumes that job seekers attempt to create and send in response to all job postings. Using the same resume for all of your applications may increase your chances. However, it may only succeed if the qualifications and experience listed in the job description match. Instead, take a moment to consider how the selection criteria align with your professional background. After that, format your resume to emphasize the expertise you have that is most pertinent to the employment being offered. 

The bottom line 

There are several missteps to avoid while creating a resume, as these errors may cost you a job interview. Knowing these typical errors in resume writing and having the skills and know-how to fix them will significantly improve your chances of landing that highly desired interview. So after you’ve got one that’s in decent form, you’ll want to have it reviewed to make sure it’s ready to go. Wishing you success in your career search! With the advent of online courses, learning has become far more accessible to everyone including those who stay in remote areas. Pursuing an UGC-entitled online degree through Online Manipal not only helps you continue your education in a more flexible manner but also helps you land your desired job with good salary package. Online Manipal assists all students find their dream job through placement assistance which covers all aspects of resume building, skill assessment tests, career fairs, job postings, and more.


Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.

Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

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