Last week I asked my Instagram followers what blog post they wanted to see next, and a handful of people wanted one about building a killer resume. I started writing it and then realized I have SO much to say that it would be messy and impossible for me to fit it into one blog post. So I decided to make a mini blog post series all about crafting your perfect resume. Your resume is so important and being a recent college graduate I think I’ve nailed down the dos and don’ts from years of trial and error. So this week’s post will be common resume mistakes to avoid.
1. Unprofessional Email Address
The last thing you want on your resume is your email from middle school. So it’s time to drop the “email@example.com” and pick a new one. Choose something simple and appropriate that includes your name. I also wouldn’t use your school email, especially if you’re graduating soon because most schools deactivate alumni emails post-graduation.
2. Full Mailing Address
I always put my whole address the first two years of college until I met with multiple academic advisors and they said it was unnecessary. You can simply put your town and state and it will help you utilize space. If you are looking to relocate most people advise not to even put your address unless it’s local. If a hiring manager sees your located in California but you’re applying for a job in New York, they might not even consider you for an interview. Hiring processes are so competitive you don’t want to give them any reason not to call you in for an interview.
3. Anything High School Related
You’re in college, whatever you did in high school really doesn’t matter and just takes up space. No need to put where you graduated high school or jobs you had when you were 15. If you’re a freshman in college with absolutely no work experience and your resume looks empty, that’s the only time I would include a summer job or high school education. It doesn’t look the best but it will look better compared to a resume that’s only half a page. Also if you’re in this position it’s time to start getting more involved so you can remove the high school information in the future!
4. References or Multiple Pages
You don’t need to include “references available upon request” if they want references they’ll ask you. Also absolutely do not have a resume over one page. You can fit everything onto one page if you format correctly and only include relevant information. So as you gain experience make sure to remove the old stuff that’s not relevant anymore.
5. Personal Information and Pictures
Oh my god absolutely NO pictures of yourself, please!! I’ve seen resume templates that have space at the top where you can upload a picture of yourself, but please don’t. It’s unnecessary and looks extremely unprofessional. Also no personal information such as date of birth, political views, or religion. Like I mentioned above, you don’t want to give a hiring manager a reason not to call you in for an interview.
6. A Unique Resume Template
I know you want to stand out by choosing a template that has color and designs and isn’t standard but trust me don’t do that. For starters a template is going to take up a lot of space and space is something we’re trying to use wisely. Stick with a traditional template with small margins like this. You can find free and simple resume templates on Microsoft word. Also, most resumes nowadays are put through systems that pick and choose if you fit their needs based on keywords. Half the time a recruiter won’t even see your resume until they’re already interested in you so there’s no point in making it fancy.
7. Long Paragraphs and Using Pronouns
Avoid writing in paragraphs, instead use bullets so it’s concise and informative. Also, don’t use pronouns like “me, he, she, we…” and no “I” either. For example, instead of saying “I analyzed data and used that to create a marketing plan” you would say “Constructed a marketing plan based on data analytics.” In the third part of this blog post series, I will expand on this with more specific examples and screenshots from my own resume so keep an eye out for that!
8. Low College GPA
If you are a recent college graduate only put your GPA on your resume if it’s above 3.5. Some people say above 3.0 is fine but it depends on the field you’re going into, the company, and your competitors. You don’t want to include a 3.0 GPA when people applying for the same position have a 3.7. This is just my personal opinion but it’s up to you to make this call. If you have a GPA under 3.0 definitely do not include it, this is a pretty universal guideline. It is also recommended once you’ve worked for 2-3 years post-graduation you can remove your GPA altogether.
9. Grammatical Errors
The last thing you want to send is a resume filled with grammatical errors. It will look unprofessional and you can assure it’ll be tossed in the “no” pile. Always proofread your resume multiple times and get multiple other people to look at it. I’ve gotten 3 different academic advisors from school to look at mine and each time they had new edits! You can also utilize editing services such as Grammarly.
10. Wrong File Name + Format
When you’re saving and sending your resume make sure to name it appropriately. If you name it “dumb resume thing” the person receiving it can see it and you can bet they aren’t even going to open it. Also, this is very important but ALWAYS save your resume as a PDF before emailing it to a company! I can’t stress this enough. You never know what software or computer the person whos’ receiving your email has. So if you send it as a word document there’s a good chance the format will be messed up and not look the same when they open it.
These are my top 10 resume mistakes to avoid! Have any other suggestions? Make sure to comment them down below and help others out! Stay tuned for part 2 out of 3 for this blog post series which will be about everything you should include in your resume!
Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter for exclusive tips and freebies. I also post new blog posts every Wednesday so part two will be up next week! You can also keep updated on my Instagram, I’ve very active on there. Make sure to check me out on Tiktok as well!