Rules for Resumes: Don't Make These Mistakes

Rules for Resumes: Don’t Make These Mistakes

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

When crafting a resume, every letter and word can significantly impact your career prospects. Avoiding common mistakes is essential to ensure your resume helps, not hinders, your job search. A well-written resume serves as your first impression to potential employers, showcasing your skills and experience. A standout resume can set you apart from the competition and increase your chances of securing an interview. In this article, we will explore common resume mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Not Adhering to the Correct Structure and Format

In 2024, the structure and format of your resume are crucial for catching potential employers’ attention. Overly elaborate or creative formats can make it difficult for recruiters to find the information they need.

How to Fix It:

  • Choose a professional layout that is easy to read.
  • Use relevant headings and bullet points to highlight key information.
  • Ensure consistency in font styles and sizes.
  • Organize your resume in a chronological or functional format based on your experience.

2. Resume Not Tailored to the Job Description

Using the same resume for all job applications is a mistake. Tailor your resume to match the specific job requirements to show employers why you are a good fit.

How to Fix It:

  • Analyze the job description and highlight relevant skills and experiences.
  • Incorporate keywords from the job posting to ensure your resume passes through applicant tracking systems (ATS).
  • Highlight accomplishments and experiences that directly relate to the job role.

3. Spelling and Grammatical Errors

Typos can leave a negative impression and suggest carelessness. Flawless writing is crucial for creating a favorable impression in a competitive job market.

How to Fix It:

  • Thoroughly proofread your resume for spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Use spell-check tools and consider a second pair of eyes for a fresh perspective.

4. Missing Relevant Skills and Experience

Highlight your most relevant qualifications clearly to make a strong impression on recruiters.

How to Fix It:

  • Feature your most relevant skills and accomplishments.
  • Use bullet points for easy scanning and clarity.
  • Provide concrete examples of how you’ve applied your skills in past roles.

5. Not Keeping Your Resume Concise and Focused

A cluttered and overly long resume can be overwhelming. A clear and concise resume highlights your most relevant qualifications.

How to Fix It:

  • Focus on accomplishments, skills, and experiences that align with the job description.
  • Use clear and concise language, aiming for a maximum of two pages.

6. Not Utilizing Keywords Effectively

Failing to include specific keywords can result in your resume being excluded by the ATS. Keywords increase your chances of getting past the ATS and reaching hiring managers.

How to Fix It:

  • Identify relevant industry-specific terms and qualifications.
  • Incorporate these keywords throughout your resume naturally.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing while maintaining a natural writing style.

7. Not Incorporating Quantifiable Achievements

Recruiters look for results-oriented candidates. Highlight your achievements with specific metrics and data.

How to Fix It:

  • Mention accomplishments with specific metrics.
  • Explain the significance of your achievements and their impact on the company’s success.

8. Including Salary Requirements

Including salary requirements on your resume can hinder your job search. Focus on your qualifications and value instead.

How to Fix It:

  • Avoid adding a salary section on your resume.
  • Be prepared to discuss salary expectations during the interview.

How to Do It:

  • Use online resources to research salary ranges and be prepared to negotiate based on your qualifications.

9. Incorrect Contact Information

Providing incorrect contact information can derail your job search. Ensure your contact information is accurate and easily accessible.

How to Fix It:

  • Carefully review your contact information for typos or errors.
  • Use a professional email address and include a link to your LinkedIn profile.

How to Do It:

  • Create a dedicated contact section at the top of your resume.
  • Double-check all contact details before submitting your resume.

10. Using Jargon or Clichés

Avoid using jargon and clichés to keep your resume clear and professional.

How to Fix It:

  • Use clear, concise language.
  • Showcase your accomplishments with specific examples and powerful action verbs.


A well-crafted resume is key to unlocking new opportunities in the competitive job market. Avoid common pitfalls and focus on showcasing your unique skills, accomplishments, and experiences. Tailor your resume to each job application, pay attention to language, formatting, and design, and continuously seek feedback for improvement. Utilize ChatGPT, Claude, Gemini, and Perplexity to simplify your resume creation process and increase your chances of landing your dream job.

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People hire Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter to provide No BS job search coaching and career advice globally because he makes job searchJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter and succeeding in your career easier. 

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