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Resume Tips: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Misspelling words on a resume undermines authority, skill, and attention to detail.

Misspelling words on a resume undermines authority, skill, and attention to detail.

Spelling, grammar and dates matter on a resume.


For one, getting past electronic scanning machines and the fast-scanning eyes of human resources requires that you show an aptitude for detail — detail that includes spelling your job titles and companies correctly, as well as getting your dates consistent, says  an article at

Company Name: First and foremost, it is never a good idea to misspell the name of the company that has signed your paychecks. More importantly, the hiring director reviewing your resume could have worked there. Not to mention that it’s just very unprofessional and says little about your ability to pay attention to details. For example, you wrote JANE’S PEI EMPORIUM when you meant to write JANE’S PIE EMPORIUM. We’re fairly certain we don’t have to tell you further why this is incorrect.

Job Title misspellings: All confidence in your abilities goes right out the window if you make this mistake. For example, if your resume were to display as Cheif Technology Officer. The first question would be, “Can he/she be considered to lead a team with such a paltry grasp of basic spelling?”

Inconsistent dates: If your dates don’t match up or are not in order then you could be considered flighty or not detail-oriented. Who wants to portray themselves in that light to a potential employer?

While we all can’t have a copy editor go over every line we write on our resumes, you might consider finding an editorially minded to friend give your resume a look, or, if so inclined, hire a professional resume writer to help you. A second set of eyes is always better than one and can go a long way to keeping you in the pool of potential job candidates. Remember, spell-checking software may not catch words spelled correctly but used incorrectly.

A good example of this is using the word “manger” for “manager.” Manger is a real word and most spell-checking tools will not catch the misuse on a resume. Be very careful not to undermine the authority and skill level you are trying to communicate.

Equally important on a resume is the overall presentation of the document. One of the most overused features on a resume are bullets.

You need to use them, but you need do so wisely, says the article “How to Use Resume Bullet Points.” Overuse of bullets can strain the reader’s eye and waste the time of human resources, recruiters and hiring managers. Andrew Pearl, a certified professional resume writer, says in the article: “Decision makers don’t have time to hunt for the important details.”

Break up your resume with results-oriented sentences as well as a profile summary that says what you can do for a potential company based on what you’ve done, and mix up short paragraphs with key bullet points.

More Resume Advice:

How Long Should Your Resume Be?

Resume Do’s and Don’ts

Will Your Resume Pass the 10-Second Test?

[Image by ashley_dryden via Flickr CC 2.0]

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2 comments for “Resume Tips: Common Mistakes to Avoid”

  1. [...] Resume Tips: Common Mistakes to Avoid | [...]

    Posted by Resume Tips and other Job tips | Cool Jobs Search | July 15, 2009, 2:54 pm
  2. That’s helpful information. These are great resume tips. I really enjoyed the post! :)

    Posted by Laura Paris | November 16, 2009, 2:40 am

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