When someone is reviewing your resume, you only have a few short seconds to make a positive impression. In this time, you should effectively do everything within your power to captivate your reader, which doesn’t include any of the following common but little known resume mistakes.

Weird or Small Fonts

Even though Comic Sans or Papyrus may look great to your eyes, an employer who has read hundreds of resumes may not think the same. When you write your resume, you should be cognizant of the font and the size of the font. Make sure you choose your font size based on the type of font you are using and stick to conservative fonts like Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman.

Superfluously Creative

Another one of the common little known resume mistakes is to utilize a complicated resume format or to get too creative. You may think that since employers will typically spend anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds on the first read of your resume, that you should make it stand out with outlandish graphics. However, this is rarely done well and unless you’re applying for a creative job like graphic design you should keep the layout simple and avoid unnecessary embellishments.

When it comes to the font, it’s best to use one font size for the content and one for headers. Your name should stand out with larger text, but you can make your address smaller. In addition, you shouldn’t mix font styles.

A Little Spillage

If your resume is one page with a few lines spilling onto the next page, the few extra lines could be costly. Instead, you should clean it up with smart editing and sensible adjustments of the page formatting. Similarly avoid splitting your resume in the middle of a paragraph or bulleted list.

Story Telling Your Whole Career

Another one of the top resume mistakes is using it as a complete biographical employment history. Your resume should give a brief overview of your career as it pertains to the job you’re applying for. If you are applying to be a Controller at a publicly traded company, then your Sandwich Artist Experience from 15 years ago probably isn’t relevant. Focus on experience and education that is relevant to your role, as well as recent in history.


In an attempt to squeeze everything into one or two pages, one of the resume mistakes commonly seen is overcrowding content without any line breaks between entries or even sections. When you create your resume, you should use line breaks between the sections and blocks of text. While you should keep your resume brief, do not sacrifice readability and important white space in the pursuit of it.

Missing Keywords

When recruiters and employers search for resumes, they search the same way as everyone else does: with keywords. When writing a resume, you must think as employers and discover which keywords or string of keywords they would use to search for the best possible candidate. The job posting is a good place to get your cues and mirror your language. If you fail to implement keywords into your resume, it will most likely fail to get noticed.

Outdated Resume

As one of the more common resume mistakes, failing to update the resume with each submission will make you look obsolete. When you update your resume, make sure your work history and skill section is up to date with your most recent skills and employment. Again, take your cues from the job posting if it mentions any essential or desired skills.

When you write your resume, you should always list your strongest and hardest hitting statements first. Since most readers simply scan over the document, you should place the strongest statements, duties, or accomplishments at the beginning of each section of your resume. If you fail to do so, your reader may never get to your best work in a section because you have it buried beneath mundane tasks.