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Fixing Resume Mistakes: A Comprehensive Guide

Woman with a perplexed expression surrounded by crumpled papers at her desk, symbolizing common resume mistakes highlighted in JOH Partners' blog.

In the job hunt, a great resume can make or break your chance of an interview. Over the past 15 years, hiring experts have seen many resume errors. Focus on critical details like checking for spelling errors and removing personal info to make your resume better.

One big mistake is making your resume too long. Usually, keep it to two pages. This rule changes if you are a professor or an executive with lots of experience. Also, leave out things like hobbies, marital status, or your picture to keep it professional. Don’t write in the first person and use a font that’s easy to read, like size 11 or 12.

It’s vital to be consistent with how you format your resume, especially with dates and style. Remember not to list your references in the resume; a separate list should be ready to share later when it’s needed.

Analyzed resumes from the past 15 years highlight the importance of being to the point and on topic. Be specific about your job duties and projects, using the right language and format. Steer clear of putting photos on your resume to avoid legal issues. Advice from those with experience is key to making your resume stand out.

Key Takeaways

  • Over 15 years of experience in resume review reveals common mistakes.
  • Resumes should generally be no longer than two pages, except for extensive experience.
  • Avoid personal information like hobbies, marital status, or photos.
  • Use a professional font size of 11 or 12, and maintain consistent formatting.
  • Prepare a separate reference list instead of including it in the resume.

Common Resume Mistakes to Avoid

Creating a good resume is tough and it’s easy to make a mistake. These mistakes can hurt your chances of getting a job. To stand out, it’s important to avoid the most common resume errors.

Multicolored crumpled papers on a flat surface, symbolizing the need to avoid resume mistakes, featured in JOH Partners' blog for improving resume clarity.
Color Your Resume Correctly with JOH Partners’ Tips

Identifying Typos and Spelling Errors

A small typo or spelling mistake could cost you a job. Recruiters spend just six seconds scanning a resume at first. So, every detail really matters. Always proofread your resume carefully and consider reading it from end to start to find mistakes. This step alone makes your resume look more professional.

Addressing Incorrect Word Usage

Using words right is key. Using the wrong word can confuse readers and make you look careless. For instance, mixing up “your” and “you’re” is a big no-no. Always review your resume closely. Being careful with your word choice not only helps you avoid common issues, but it also makes your resume clearer and stronger.

Avoiding Lengthy Resumes

It’s best to keep resumes to two pages at most. Long resumes often have too much unimportant stuff. This makes it hard for employers to see why you’re a good fit. Instead, focus on what’s most important. Show off your achievements. This helps your resume stand out and be more memorable.

Optimizing Resume Format for ATS

Today’s job market is tough, and making sure your resume works with the ATS is key. Almost all big companies use ATS to check resumes. So, knowing how to make your resume ATS-friendly can really improve your chances.

Choosing the Right Font and Size

Picking the right font and size is vital for both human readers and the ATS. Stick to clean, professional fonts like Arial or Times New Roman. Make sure the size is 11 or 12 points to keep it easy to read. Avoid fancy fonts because the ATS might not understand them well.

Maintaining Consistent Formatting

Keeping your formatting consistent is a must for the ATS. This means using the same style for dates, bolding, and capital letters in every section. For instance, “Summary”, “Education”, “Experience”, “Skills” should all look the same. Stay away from unique symbols in your bullet points. They could confuse the ATS and hurt how well your resume is read.

The Role of Action Verbs

Using powerful action verbs can really boost your resume. Words like “managed”, “developed”, “implemented”, and “designed” show what you’ve done in a strong way. And they help you get past the ATS and impress real people.

Don’t forget, making a resume ATS-friendly means using the right keywords and a clear format. A well-made, ATS-friendly resume can pass the first checks. Plus, it shows off your skills and experience effectively.

Importance of Proofreading: Ensuring an Error-Free Resume

Thorough proofreading is key to a professional resume. It attracts hiring managers’ attention. Recruiters spend less than 10 seconds on a resume, so being error-free is crucial. It must be proofread to fix mistakes, keep the format consistent, and make sure it uses the right words for the job.

Proofreading your resume should not take long. Do it carefully for a few minutes. Reading it backward and asking someone else for feedback can catch more mistakes. This approach helps find spelling and grammar errors.

Resumes with mistakes in grammar or format are thrown out by recruiters. Even if you have the skill, a typo could mean a missed job opportunity. Mistakes in your resume can drop interview chances by up to 76%. It’s that important.

Here’s a table showing how proofreading impacts your job application:

Spelling Errors50% less likely to secure an interview
Grammar and Syntax Errors76% reduction in interview chances
Proper Punctuation40% more likely to grab attention
Consistent Formatting60% increased noticeability
Accurate Industry Terminology80% valued by employers
Inaccurate Information40% decrease in interest
Concise Language35% higher callback likelihood
Alignment with Job Requirement75% increase in interview callbacks
Clear Achievement Articulation50% boost in job landing chances
Cohesive Narrative Structure70% more positive feedback

Getting professional resume proofreading can be a smart choice for job seekers. It improves your resume’s quality and the impression it gives. Paying attention to detail sets you apart from others. It is a critical step to success in the job application process.

Fixing Layout and Design Issues

Making a professional resume involves choosing the right resume layout. A good resume design is not just about looks; it affects how people read it. Always pick fonts and sizes that are easy on the eye.

To make a well-organized resume, focus on clear sections and equal spacing. Be picky about margins and use readable, consistent fonts. Your resume should clearly show Education, Work Experience, Skills, and any special achievements.

Unless you have lots of experience, stick to one page for your resume. Include only the most relevant work experiences from the past 10-15 years. Talk about what you achieved, not just what you did, and keep it short and powerful.

In the Education part, list things from newest to oldest. You can leave out high school if you’ve been to college. This makes it easy for the person reading to see your qualifications. For Skills, talk about your most important skills for the job.

The right design and font depend on the job. Normally, use Serif or Sans Serif fonts for a professional resume. Make your resume look easy to read quickly, as this is what hiring systems like. Don’t use small or weird fonts that are hard to read.

Here’s a summary of how to fix your resume’s look and layout:

Font and SizeChoose professional fonts and keep sizes 11-12 pt.
Section SeparationHave clear headers and keep the format the same throughout.
Content LengthTry to keep it to one page, but two pages are okay if needed.
Work ExperienceOnly put in experiences that matter, and focus on what you achieved.
EducationList things from newest to oldest, and skip high school if not needed.
SkillsHighlight important skills for the job.

Taking care with all these details helps to improve your resume design. This way, you can stand out to potential employers.

Fixing Resume Mistakes: Key Strategies

Improving your resume can really boost your job search. A strong resume makes you look like the best choice for the job. Here’s what you should do:

Reviewing and Editing Your Resume

First, go over your resume carefully. Make sure it fits the job you want. Use a resume fixer tool to spot and fix any typos. This makes your resume clearer. Also, software like Word can help check your spelling and grammar. You might want to get advice from recruiters on what they are looking for in your field.

Using Professional Resume Templates

Pick a professional resume template to make your resume look better. Online tools have plenty of options. These are made to work well with ATS resume systems. A good layout and clear information are key for recruiters.

Seeking Feedback from Recruiters

Getting input from recruiters or coaches is very useful. They can tell you where your resume needs work. They might also share what they look for when hiring, like specific words or layout. This inside information is valuable.

To make your resume strong and professional, follow these tips. Using tools like an online resume builder and getting regular feedback is crucial. They help you get the job you want.

Common Resume MistakesKey Strategies to Fix
Typos and Grammatical ErrorsUse a resume fixer tool and proofread multiple times.
Inconsistent FormattingAdopt a professional resume template and maintain a uniform style.
Overstuffed with KeywordsEnsure strategic but natural use of keywords.
Weak DescriptionsUse action verbs and detail specific achievements.
Lack of FeedbackRegularly seek feedback from recruiters or mentors.


Making a perfect resume needs you to pay attention to many details. You should check it carefully, make sure it looks consistent, and fit it for the systems used by employers. This way, you avoid mistakes like typos or wrong info. Doing this shows how professional and careful you are.

It’s better to talk about what you’ve actually done, like leading a big team or creating big projects, than just saying you can do those things. This makes your resume more interesting to employers. Make sure your resume fits each job you apply for. This helps it show why you’re a good match and grab the employer’s attention quickly.

A good resume is short, around two pages, and uses strong words like “solved” instead of weak ones. It’s also good to mention soft skills like being hard-working and good at managing time. And don’t forget to check your contact info is correct. Small mistakes here could mean a missed opportunity.

To avoid resume mistakes, use spell check, get friends to look it over, and update it often. This way, you keep your resume sharp and up to date. By doing these things, you’re more likely to make a good impression and get the job you want.


What are some common resume mistakes to avoid?

Mistakes on resumes often include typos and spelling errors. Also, using words incorrectly or writing too much. They might have bad font choices and look messy. Making your resume short and fitting for the job can dodge these issues.

How can I ensure my resume is error-free?

Avoiding mistakes means checking your resume many times. Try reading it backwards to find sneaky typos. Also, apps like Grammarly can spot grammar issues. Let others like a friend or family member look at your resume too.

What are the best practices for resume layout and design?

Use clean, easy-to-read fonts in sizes 11 or 12 for your resume. Keep the format the same, like for dates and how things are written. Make sure it’s not too crowded. It should look good and be easy to understand.

How do I optimize my resume for an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

To boost your resume for an ATS, pick a simple format and standard fonts. Add keywords from the job listing. Avoid graphics or fancy stuff that might confuse the system.

Why is proofreading my resume important?

Checking your resume well shows you are serious and careful. A clean resume makes a good first impression. It tells employers you are detail-oriented.

What role do action verbs play in a resume?

Action verbs make your resume more lively and focused. They help your skills and achievements stand out. Employers like to see what you did clearly.

How can I tailor my resume to specific job applications?

To tailor your resume, match it to the job description. Use the same words and phrases for skills and experience. Show how your background fits what they need.

Should I include my photo in the resume?

Photos on resumes are usually not a good idea because they can cause bias. It’s best to concentrate on showing your work history and skills clearly.

How can I get feedback on my resume from industry professionals?

Getting resume feedback can come from LinkedIn contacts and career events. Mentors are also great for advice. There’s help online too, with resume reviews and builder tools.

What are the key strategies for fixing resume mistakes?

To correct errors, review your resume carefully and use a good template. Fit your resume just right for the job. Then, get feedback from experts to ensure it’s up to date.

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