Why Your Resume Sucks – Are You Making These 5 Common Mistakes?

 In Career Tips, Resumes and Cover Letters

Does Your Resume Suck? 5 Common Mistakes


Every month I review dozens of resumes, and invariably I see the same mistakes over and over.

Check this list to be sure you haven’t inadvertently lessened your chances for being invited for an interview.

  1. Objective: A challenging position with growth opportunities. Isn’t that everyone’s goal?  And, yes, I do still see resumes with weak objective statements!  Your resume is a marketing piece about you and should be written as such. Convince the reader that you are the ideal candidate by beginning with an opening summary that describes the features and benefits you offer that will allow you to seamlessly move into the position you are applying for … and do a great job!
  2. Responsible for dotting i’s and crossing t’s. Everyone has responsibilities in their job, and while necessary to describe in your resume, do so in a more dynamic way. Keep your job descriptions to a helicopter view – no need to tell every detail, just the main points. “Responsible” is the most overused word I see in the resumes I review …use action verbs to breathe life and excitement into your resume.
  3. Production manger This is one of the most often misspelled words (manger vs. manager), but the #1 mistake I see most is when describing a past position “lead a group of 8” – past tense is “led.” Nothing is going to kill your chances faster than typos or misused words on your resume. The hiring manager wants to interview the best, and when the document that represents you contains mistakes, that is a direct reflection on you. Proofread, proofread … and then have two other people proofread!
  4. Developed policies; developed procedures; developed processes. Word redundancy is so boring!  Scan down through your resume and see how many times you use certain words – manage and develop are typically the worst offenders. Grab a thesaurus and find dynamic action verbs to create interest.
  5. Bullet points, followed by more bullet points. A laundry list of bulleted statements is a quick way to lose your reader’s attention. Nothing stands out, and everything begins to look the same. Strategically using just 2-3 bulleted statements in a grouping will call attention to that information … which should be your key accomplishments!


These are just the most-often viewed mistakes … with probably 95% of resumes submitted to me for assessment I find mistakes or can point out ways to improve the effectiveness of the document. If you’d like professional input on your resume, send it over to me (cpg@acareeradvantage.com) for a complimentary assessment!

For more than two decades, Kathy Keshemberg, NCRW, CCMC, and her team at A Career Advantage have been providing professionals with world-class resume consultation and writing, career coaching and personal branding services. Learn more… 

Image: Jessica-Pierce

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