Discover Studying Abroad

6 Resume Mistakes that Can Make You Look Like a Joke

...but you C, V all make mistakes.
BY Navleen Kaur |   05-02-2015

First things first. Why do you need a resume? Whatever it is that you are applying for - jobs, internships, summer programs, college applications - a resume serves as a quick introduction to your skills and potential. This way, it becomes easier for people to make up their minds about your capabilities, and for you to get that dream college/job/internship/summer school.

A seemingly easy task, writing a resume can be really tricky. Perhaps because there are no universal rules to writing a successful one. As such, there are bogs everywhere,  when you tread onto this treacherous path of resume writing. Luckily, I am about to save you from major embarrassment by talking about commonly made mistakes and how to avoid them.

Maybe you have already begun, or are about to write, a resume? Look out for these commonplace bloopers:

1. ...who’s the fairest of them all?

Putting up your picture on top of your resume

One expert indicates that putting up your picture on top of the CV is a bad idea. It distracts the recruiters from reading relevant information in the resume. Not only that. “It’s illegal to consider factors like age, race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability status in hiring decisions.” I am sure there is nothing wrong with your picture. And unless you are aspiring to be a model or a movie star, you might even overlook this point. But common sense says, take that picture down!

2. objective of an Objective

Stereotyped objective statements

Some experts believe leaving an objective off  a resume is a more prudent way to go about the business. Apparently, objectives are too outdated a concept, and no longer attract employers. But whether you choose to have them or not, objectives are stereotyped with much vigour, and a complete lack of responsibility. As such, it’s important to get them right because they serve as  a worthy introduction to an elaborate oration.

Another expert explains how personal branding should be the aim of every objective statement. She gives the following example to prove her point:

Boring old objective:

Creative marketing professional seeks a position within an organization that will allow me to utilize my skills with the potential for growth.

Attention-grabbing branding statement:

Forward-thinking marketing professional offering a unique combination of creativity and analytical skill with the ability to assess both vantage points simultaneously for an effective balance of visual nuance and sound business decisions which are easily transferable into a variety of positions.

The top half to third of the first page of your resume should be BAM, POW, WOW! Knock them out with your intro and they’ll get back up for more.”

3. typos, typos everywhere, not a word to read

Overlooking typos in text

That’s the last thing you want to happen to your CV, or reputation. Write it, proofread it, proofread it again, and again if need be. Read between the lines. You must not let grammar or typos make you look like a troll.

The top 20 list of the most hilarious resume mistakes, on Resumark, features some of the funniest resume blunders I have ever read. Here are some:

“I have a known track record and excellent experience with accurancy and fixing erors

“My experience include filing, billing, printing and coping

“I am a perfectionist and rarely if if ever forget details.”

And my personal favorite:

4. the employer’s lullaby

Resumes that are irrelevantly long

Writing resumes in first person, and writing them long; it’s the right kind of noose for attempting professional suicide. Keep it short! One pagers are the best. A maximum of two, if your talents are too many to fit into one.

“Ireceived one that was 5 pages long, once. The reason why it was that long was because when she put down that she worked at [pizzeria name] as a “Pizza Maker” she listed each step of making a pizza as a separate job duty”

Every line in your resume should sell you. So, ask yourself, will this statement get me admissions?  If the answer is yes, go for it. If not, cut it down. You don’t need it.

Here’s a helpful tip. Whenever writing summaries of previous employment, skip the obvious parts about duties and follow the STAR method instead.

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. Write about the Situation you found yourself in/were presented with, the Task you were supposed to finish, the Action you undertook, and the consequential Result or achievement.

This method makes sure you highlight your approach and achievements in an objective and concise manner, by impressing the recruiter in the process. (Learn more about the STAR method here.)

5. by hook or crook

False or funny information

“One guy went on length about how he helped build the international space station as an intern. Did he mean helped in it? No, he claimed to literally be on the floor while the pieces were being manufactured and was sent to various countries to oversee the process… all during a summer internship.”

Need I say more?

Then there is this temptation of putting a part of yourself into that email address. Cuss words, creative jargon, you want to stuff all of it into that limited character space. But here’s an advice, do not use that email for official communication. Most definitely not in your CV. Picture your future employers trying to reach you at or!

6. feeling Lazy

One size doesn’t fit all

“I had a lady apply for a sales rep position and the first line in her resume was a career objective that stated that she wanted a career in nursing.”

Done writing your resume? Great. But you are not done yet. If you think you can use this resume for all your applications, think again. The best practice is to customise your resume for every place you need to apply to. Read through the requirements first and then make changes accordingly.

This brings us to the end of the list. Now, take a deep breath. Phew.

Trust me, once you get the hang of it, it’s not that difficult. One golden rule: Keep it simple!

Every resume’s goal is to get it’s owner what he/she is aspiring for. And in the end, what you put on it really is upto you . But authentic and brief resumes always stand out. Think of resumes as meat. Nobody likes it undercooked or overcooked. It has to be just well done!

Happy Resume-writing!
Cover image source: CC Flickr by



Can't Read  
Enter Above Code:


Sign Up for our newsletter

Sign Up for latest updates and Newsletter