The 3 Most Common Resume Mistakes

Photo by Bogomil Mihaylov on Unsplash

Over the years, I have seen hundreds of resumes that all struggle on three common, but easy to fix issues. Don’t let these mistakes prevent your resume from opening doors to great jobs!

Here are some of the most common mistakes I’ve seen, and how to avoid them:

1. The Resume is Too Long

Many students feel the need to include everything they’ve done on their resume and end up with multiple pages of information that may or may not all be relevant. As an undergraduate student, try to keep your resume to one-page by selecting your most relevant experiences for the job. Recruiters often spend a few seconds scanning a resume before making a judgement call, so make sure you take the time to reflect on your experiences and share only the ones that showcase your skills for the job. You can start by reading the job description in detail, then writing a list of all your experiences, and matching the top experiences with the most important skills you need. Check out my article on starting this reflection here:

2. Improper Formatting

Formatting your resume may seem insignificant, but can make or break your chances in being considered for a job. If you have a wall of text and very little whitespace, recruiters will not want to spend the time and effort to read every word you wrote. On the other hand, if you have plenty of colours and graphics, but spend little time on substance, then you are missing out on an opportunity to showcase why you would be a great fit for the job. To help you get started, I have created an easy-to-read resume template that you can leverage:

3. Poorly Written Bullet Points

This is the area where most resumes struggle. It is often quite difficult to boil down a project or role into a couple bullet points and so many resume writers write too much or too little for each experience. Ultimately, each bullet point should start with an action word, followed by some context, and end with a quantified result. This format allows the reader to quickly understand what you did, what skills you have, and what your impact was. If you are looking to improve your bullet points, check out this article for an example:

By avoiding these common mistakes, you will already be miles ahead of your competition for a great job.

If you are looking for personalized resume coaching and support, check out my services at

Founder & Resume Consultant @ Based in Toronto, Canada.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store