Resumes can make or break anybody, regardless of what degree you’ve earned, what your educational background and training is–even a wonderful personality can’t make up for making mistakes on a resume. In most cases, an employer’s first introduction to an applicant is their resume. In-person interviews are typically scheduled later on, meaning that the resume–a simple piece of paper–is the only thing to represent who a person is. So it’s not too farfetched to see why even a simple mistake on this document could cause an employer to not consider somebody before they’ve even met them.
College students are the main demographic that should learn what resume mistakes to avoid at all costs. In addition to learning the skills needed to pursue their dream career, college is also a time for students to experience other life lessons. Creating a resume is one of them. Although these mistakes might seem easy to avoid because of common sense, remember the popular saying, “Common sense isn’t common enough.”
Even if you feel you’d never be guilty of making any errors on your resume, it’s still worth noting the most commonly made mistakes to make extra sure you’re on top of your Ps and Qs on the subject.
Typos & Grammatical Errors
This is the number one mistake made by not just students but working professionals as well. Never rely on spellcheck alone to catch typos and misspellings. Computers are smart but not that smart, which is especially true when catching certain grammatical errors.
Review your resume with your own eyes and correct any typos, misspellings or grammatical errors. But that doesn’t mean you’re finished. Now pass on your resume to 1-2 more people who can look at it with fresh eyes and provide any feedback.
Inappropriate/Unprofessional Email Addresses
Email addresses are a widely used form of contact for communication. Surprisingly, college students often don’t realize the importance of creating a personal email and a business email. While some students and graduates use their school based email address, the bottom line is that all student resumes should have a professional, business email address. It doesn’t take much time and effort to sign up for an email account (not to mention it’s free). Keep it to your first and last name or a variation of it.
Missing and/or Vague Work History
There are a number of different resume templates students can use to create their own resumes but what they all have in common is sufficient detail when it comes to the work history. That means including the right dates/years of employment. You don’t have to provide a specific date–just the month and year will do but do your best to avoid guessing. When in doubt, backtrack and contact the person/people that would be able to give you that information if you can’t remember.
Listing Too Much Information
Having a bare bones resume isn’t impressive but having one that’s pages long isn’t recommended, either. Students with a lot to include have to do their best to trim things down and only include the essential information that relates to the position they’re interviewing for.