Why Is A Well Written Cover Letter Importantly

The 10 worst resume mistakes to avoid

Use these resume tips to dodge common blunders that can sabotage your job search.

Common resume mistakes are deceptively easy to make.

Your resume is often the first contact you make with a potential employer, and that first impression can make or break your chances of getting a job.

That’s why writing your resume—and ensuring that it’s spotless—is such an important part of your job search journey.

You see, the worst resume mistakes are the ones that are deceptively easy to make and exceptionally difficult to repair once an employer sees them. Whether you're writing your first resume or updating your resume for a mid-career job search, no one is immune from making a mistake or two.

Write the perfect resume by avoiding these common pitfalls.

1. Typos and grammatical errors

Probably the most obvious of all resume tips: It needs to be grammatically perfect. If it isn't, employers will read between the lines and draw not-so-flattering conclusions about you, like, "This person can't write," or, "This person obviously doesn't care."

2. Lack of specifics

Employers need to understand what you've done and accomplished. For example:

A. Worked with employees in a restaurant setting
B. Recruited, hired, trained and supervised more than 20 employees in a restaurant with $2 million in annual sales

Both of these phrases could describe the same person, but the details and specifics in example B will more likely grab an employer's attention.

3. Attempting the "one–size–fits–all" approach

Whenever you try to develop a one-size-fits-all resume to send to all employers, you almost always end up with something employers will toss in the recycle bin. Employers want you to write a resume specifically for them. They expect you to clearly show how and why you fit the position in a specific organization.

4. Highlighting duties instead of accomplishments

It's easy to slip into a mode where you simply start listing job duties on your resume. For example:

  • Attended group meetings and recorded minutes
  • Worked with children in a day-care setting
  • Updated departmental files

Employers, however, don't care so much about what you've done as what you've accomplished in your various activities. They're looking for statements more like these:

  • Recorded weekly meeting minutes and compiled them in a Microsoft Word-based file for future organizational reference
  • Developed three daily activities for preschool-age children and prepared them for a 10-minute holiday program performance
  • Reorganized 10 years worth of unwieldy files, making them easily accessible to department members

5. Going on too long or cutting things too short

Despite what you may read or hear, there are no real rules governing resume length. Why? Because human beings, who have different preferences and expectations where resumes are concerned, will be reading it.

That doesn't mean you should start sending out five-page resumes, of course. Generally speaking, you usually need to limit yourself to a maximum of two pages. But don't feel you have to use two pages if one will do. Conversely, don't cut the meat out of your resume simply to make it conform to an arbitrary one-page standard.

6. Bad summary

Employers do read your career summary, but too often they plow through vague pufferies like, “Accomplished professional seeking career growth." Give employers something specific and, more importantly, something that focuses on their needs as well as your own. Example: "An accomplished marketing manager that developed award-winning campaigns for Fortune 500 clients that contributed to 50% increase in stock value.”

7. No action verbs

Avoid using phrases like "responsible for." Instead, use action verbs: "Resolved user questions as part of an IT help desk serving 4,000 students and staff."

8. Leaving off important information

You may be tempted, for example, to eliminate mention of the jobs you've taken to earn extra money for school. Typically, however, the soft skills you've gained from these experiences (e.g., work ethic, time management) are more important to employers than you might think.

9. Visually too busy

If your resume is wall-to-wall text featuring five different fonts, it will most likely give the employer a headache. So show your resume to several other people before sending it out. Do they find it visually attractive? If what you have is hard on the eyes, revise.

10. Incorrect contact information

I once worked with a student whose resume seemed incredibly strong, but he wasn't getting any bites from employers. So one day, I jokingly asked him if the phone number he'd listed on his resume was correct. It wasn't. Once he changed it, he started getting the calls he'd been expecting. Moral of the story: Double-check even the most minute, taken-for-granted details sooner rather than later.

Ready to get your resume in front of hiring managers? Join Monster today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume. Recruiters search Monster every day looking for qualified candidates just like you.


While we all know that a resume is important to the jobsearch process, it is not necessarily the most important document you will need to secure an interview.

Many people believe that a strategically targeted cover letter is the most important weapon you need to fight this battle and to win it. There are two key reasons why.



  1. The cover letter allows you to target the job and the employer in a very specific way, leaving the resume to market your skills, qualities and experience as a part of the bigger picture. Your resume then needs less tweaking with each application because the letter, which must be different each time, does that for you.

  2. A great cover letter should not just repeat your resume in a shorter form, but should tell the employer what it is about the job that is attractive to you and why you want to work for that employer. You will also need to include the unique skills and the qualities you bring to that job and the company.

Writing a killer cover letter is not a simple task. It requires thought, knowledge and understanding

Many employers and recruiters read the letter first. Some will not even consider your resume until they are satisfied by the content of your letter. So it is a very important document.

  • You will need to do research on the employer and the job before writing the letter

  • It will need to be written in an engaging style using keywords applicable to the job

  • In the letter you will need to show that you have made the effort to learn about their company by acquiring relevant knowledge before going to the interview, if you are chosen.

So what do you do if the employer is not disclosed in the job advert? Well the letter still has to be written specifically to the job addressing the key requirements stated and your enthusiasm needs to shine through. No letter can just say "here is my resume", not if you want an interview. You will need to convey:

  • I have reviewed your website and understand your business

  • You are my employer of choice

  • I believe my personality fits with your organisational culture (providing it does)

  • I really want to work for an organisation with your values

These all help to sell "your fit" with their organisation. At Successful Resumes we believe the cover letter needs as much attention and skill in the preparation as your resume.

If you need help with your cover letter please visit our website here likewise if you require a free assessment of your resume or advice on government selection criteria go to our website. One of our national team of highly qualified and experienced writers will be available to work with you to ensure you have the best chance of winning the interview to kick start or reignite your career.

By John Little Managing Director of Successful Resumes Australia - visit us at www.successfulresumes.com.au


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