Top 10 Resume Mistakes

Top 10 Resume Mistakes

I’ve been involved in recruiting and hiring during my entire professional career (over 25 years) and I’ve seen some really good resumes and some really bad ones too. Often times, your resume is a key component in whether you will be considered for an opening. Did you know that most hiring managers spend less than 20 seconds scanning through a resume? Obviously, they are not reading every word so when creating your resume you need to keep that in mind. Keep your resume as short as possible (no longer than one page if possible) and use bullet-points to describe the details of your career rather than paragraph format. The following list is my TOP TEN RESUME MISTAKES that you should avoid:

1 – Too long (one page is best; never more than two pages)

2 – Too wordy (use bullet points to describe the details of your experiences)

3 – Not including an “OBJECTIVE” section (to accurately and specifically describe the role you are seeking)

4 – Not explaining gaps in employment (If a hiring manager sees a gap of more than a few weeks without explanation, your resume might end up in “file 19”)

5 – Not listing accurate dates of employment (don’t use only years such as 2003 – 2005. Rather, use months and years such as Feb, 2003 – Dec, 2005)

6 – Not explaining reasons for leaving employers (if you left for a better opportunity, promotion, etc. make sure to state that. If you were terminated for excessive tardiness . . . . well, good luck with that one!)

7 – Too much irrelevant information (don’t list high school activities or part-time jobs while in school unless, of course, you are just graduating from college and seeking your first professional job)

8 – Listing dates of school (listing the graduation date of high school and dates you attended college is not part of a professional looking resume. If the hiring manager really wants to figure out how old you are they can do the math by looking at your dates of employment)

9 – Not indicating degrees attained (Associates Degree or Bachelors Degree, for example) or programs of study (Ag-Business, for example)

10 – Not including a separate page of professional references (be sure to let your references know that they might be receiving a call to give a reference and be sure to give cell numbers if possible)

Finding that perfect job is difficult. Increase your chances by updating your resume and you might be surprised with the results! If you’re really having trouble and need some advice feel free to email your resume to me ( for some free advice.

Bryan Kooi, Account Executive, Great Plains Consulting