1. The curse of multiple pages.
Your resume, especially early in your career, should never be more than one page. If you have more information you’d like to include, put it on your LinkedIn.
2. That gross font.
While you might want to use an interesting font to help you stand out, it doesn’t hurt to play it safe. When in doubt, go for something standard and readable. We recommend Helvetica, Georgia, Arial, or even boring old Times New Roman.
3. Education at the top. AHH.
Move your education to the bottom of your resume. It might hurt your soul, but trust us, it’ll help your cause. The top of your resume is prime real estate and putting your education section up there practically screams, “I have no experience!” It’s very nice that you graduated Magna Cum Laude. Now, put it at the bottom of your resume.
4. An objective statement. The horror.
Delete that objective statement. They’re old-fashioned and are not super useful, unless you’re making a big career shift that needs some explaining.
5. No numbers? Protect us!
Employers want to know that you’re results oriented. Instead of focusing on the tasks you did in each job, focus on what you accomplished. Then, measure that accomplishment with numbers. For example, you didn’t coordinate fundraising efforts for your sorority. You lead a fundraiser for your sorority that saw a 20% increase in donations from the previous year. BOOM.
6. Buzzwords. Buzzwords everywhere.
It goes back to the ultimate rule of writing. Show, don’t tell. What’s stronger? Saying that you’re a high-performer? Or saying that you were only one of three employees to hit their sales goal every month? Avoid over-used buzzwords and live by your examples.
7. LINKEDIN PROFILE IS MISSING! NOOO!!
Include a hyperlink to your LinkedIn with your contact information. (Pro tip: you can easily customize your LinkedIn profile link.) Also, make sure that the information on your LinkedIn is consistent with what is listed on your resume. It doesn’t have to be word-for-word the same, but it shouldn’t be surprising that you’re the same person.
8. Inconsistent formatting. Hide the children!
Keep your formatting consistent. Otherwise, it will quickly become difficult to skim. Translation: The recruiter will give up on it. Spacious and consistent formatting make happy recruiters, and happy recruiters make happy you.
For goodness’ sake, no typos.
10. Not saved as a PDF. Run!
Save your resume as a PDF, always. A PDF is the only file type that will protect your formatting. With document files, you risk your formatting becoming corrupted on a new computer, or the font getting switched to Comic Sans or something. Gasp.
11. Named “Resume2009.doc.” Really, run for the hills.
Name your resume file like a pro. It’s a small detail, but it does matter. “First_Last_Resume.PDF” is a great go-to, because it both looks professional and will be easy for the recruiter to look up on their computer.
Michaela Gianotti is Koru's content manager. She attended Whitman College, where she spent the better part of four years convincing her family that English majors can get jobs too. She has since found awesome work (SEE!) at 826 Seattle, msnNOW, and Koru.