Top Five Mistakes Made on Resumes: How to Correct Them

Today we have a special guest post from Human Resources Manager and former Marine: Chandler Ruehrwein.

Top Five Mistakes Made on Resumes: How to Correct Them

As a Human Resources professional I see hundreds of resumes for each position that opens up.   I then weed those resumes down to just a few which I will invite in for an interview.  How I narrow it down to those few interview worthy resumes is an excellent question.  The answer is between a combination of the recruiting department and the hiring manager.  I could see a stellar looking resume and send it over to the hiring manager with a little extra note; “looks really interesting.”  Or if the resume is not perfect I could simply send it over.  Below are some common resume mistakes.

1.       Not including language from the job description.  If you know how to do the job that you are applying to; than say it in your resume.  I want to know that you can do the job and expressing it in your resume is the best way.  Note:  Literally use trade language and language from the job posting.

2.      Lack of Contact information.  Always have an email address.  Use an email account that you are going to check.  Don’t use a college email account that might shutoff 6 months after you graduate.  Don’t use an email account that has a high spam filter and if someone responds you never receive the message because it went into your junk folder.  [email protected] might not be the most professional email address but definitely use it if you’re applying to the World Poker Tour.  Put your phone number on the resume.  Put your home and cell.  You want the recruiter to contact you so provide them with every possible avenue.

3.      Too much information.  One or two hobbies are great.  If you state your hobbies in a volunteer section that is great too.  Employers do not want to know if you’re married, your age, or any personal information.  Many recruiters consider this information to be personal and they do not want to risk discriminatory practices.  Just leave the information out.

4.      Watch your  grammar.  Too many commas or incorrect capitalization is not a blatant error.  However miss spelling a word, poor word choice, or just plain grade school writing will not compliment a resume.  Spend some time fixing the resume up and making it look professional, choose your words wisely, and present a nice, clean, concise resume.

5.      Lack of Cover letter.  90% of the time, submit a cover letter.   A rare 10% of companies specifically do not allow a cover letter.  The cover letter allows you to build on your resume and build off the job posting.  It also helps you explain why you want to work for the company.

Each one of these tips is designed to continue the advancement of your resume.  In many cases, your resume might have stopped along the process, and it just sat on someone’s desk.  Eliminating these common errors from your resume will help you become one of the interviewees.

Stay tuned for the next update…

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Michael Anthony earned a BA in English Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing. He spent six years in the army reserves, with a sixteen month deployment, and twelve months in Iraq, where he served as an operating room technician. You can follow him on


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Excellent points. When does the thank you letter come into play?
I’d say a cover letter comes the day after, or the second day after. Any more days and it would seem too long, like you were procrastinating. Better to do it while you’re still in their mind.
Thank you letters should always come within a week. If you think it is urgent send an email and follow up with a letter/card. Don't forget to send everyone that you interviewed with a thank you letter.
Great post! I look forward to the next one, Mr. Ruehrwein. Perhaps on the Top 5 Interviewing Mistakes.....?