Job hunting is difficult in the best of circumstances. However, submitting a flawed resume could mean you’re making the journey even harder on yourself. Whether you’ve been job hunting for years or you’re new to the job-hunting world, here are the top five mistakes to avoid on your resume.

1.  Typos & Grammatical Errors

As simple as they may be to avoid, spelling errors and typos are the most common mistakes on resumes. Typos are especially damaging, because they convey to potential employers that an applicant lacks attention to detail. It happens frequently, therefore a perfectly written resume could even be your competitive edge. Before sending it off, proofread your resume several times. Then ask someone else to read it, or read it out loud to yourself, to pick up on any missed errors.


2.  Poor Presentation

It might be tempting to be a little creative and crazy with your resume in order to stand out from the crowd—don’t do it. Creative resumes are tough to read and they’re unprofessional. Use formatting techniques like bullets and short paragraphs to enhance readability, and keep bullets uniform. Make sure you have plenty of white space on your resume as well. If it’s too ‘busy’, the reader might skip over important information.


3.  Generic Resumes

No two roles are alike and your resumes shouldn’t be either. Instead of sending out a generic resume to multiple employers, work on one application at a time. Customise each resume to fit the job you’re applying for. And show how and why you fit the position in a specific organisation and role. If you try to develop a one-size-fits-all resume, you’ll most likely end up with something employers will throw in the recycle bin.


4.  Missing and Extra information

Add everything that is relevant. You may be tempted to eliminate mention of jobs taken to earn extra money while at school. However, the soft skills gained from these jobs, like work ethic and time management, are important as well. Keep your resume up-to-date, ensuring you update your skills section as well as your work history. But don’t put every job you’ve ever had either. Limit your resume to the last 10 years of work experience. Too much work history could obscure information that demonstrates your worth to a potential employer.


5.  Failure to demonstrate results

Employers don’t want or need a shopping list of your duties in each role on your resume. They need to see your accomplishments and where you added value to your role. So put real, quantitative tasks and accomplishments on your resume that are relevant to the role you’re applying for. Write active statements as well, quantifying your accomplishments with concrete evidence.


There are plenty of other errors that could get in your way of securing a job interview. However, the above five are among the most common and damaging to your chances. So make sure you avoid them at all costs.

Melbourne City Institute of Education (MCIE) is a vibrant and innovative registered training organisation, which offers a range of courses in Melbourne to help students to fulfil their career goals.

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