Resume Mistakes to Avoid in Applying for a Job in 2021

In a competitive job market, we all need a resume that works on our behalf to demonstrate the value we can add to an organization. We surveyed hiring managers and human resource executives on the biggest resume mistakes they’ve seen over the years and here are the results – the resume mistakes to avoid. These are deal-breakers for employers, they can cost you the interview and make your application look lazy. 



1. Incorrect Contact Information

You may spend countless hours on your resume, but what if you overlook the most critical information in your resume – your contact information?  It’s incredibly common for applicants to mistype their phone number or email address, never returning to that section and assuming it’s complete.

Besides getting the contact information wrong, using an unprofessional email address can also cost you your job. The email you’ve been using since high school with swag, numbers, and symbols don’t work in the business world.  


2. Stuffing your documents with ‘fluff’ skills

Anyone can (and does) claim that they are a team player, organized, or have excellent critical thinking skills. Many recent graduates are using these fluff words on their resumes to stretch out the detail. However, these are repeated on the majority of resumes, thinking outside of the box will gain more traction.


4. Creating a task-based resume, rather than an achievement-based resume

Avoid writing a soulless list of day-to-day tasks completed during previous positions. Instead, transform these tasks to demonstrate the ways in which you excelled in your role, how did each task result in an achievement? What did you add to the company through completing your responsibilities?

Recruiters and hiring managers are fairly clued up on common responsibilities when it comes to roles they’re hiring for, and listing these won’t make you stand out from the crowd.

Examples would include:
Task-based: Completed sales calls
Achievement-based: Exceeded sales targets by X%, increasing company revenue by $X

Of course, we can’t apply the method in all instances, but where possible, it will show you’re an achiever.


5. Formatting Your Resume Wrongly

Less is always more when it comes to formatting your resume. You may stick to a clean design with more white space for the readers to quickly skim the information and get the idea right away upon reading your resume. There is no need to include colorful borders or fancy graphs.  

You have to pick a template that is visually appealing and easy-to-read font and font size. If you can include two columns in your resume, the better, as it allows you to include more information.  

Also, you can use three different resume formats: Reverse-Chronological, Functional, and Combination of two. The reverse-chronological is the most commonly used and also one of the best choices.  

If you want to know what’s the best resume format for your targeted job? Get in touch with our certified resume writer for help.   


6. Not Pointing Out a Career Change

It is completely acceptable to have a career change, especially with what happened during the pandemic. However, if you are planning to switch careers, you have to point it out, or the hiring managers might think that you are simply applying for random jobs.  

Have you been working in the travel industry before, and you want a job in marketing? Make sure to write it in your resume objective and include a summary skill that will back up your claim that you are the right person in the new position. You can also include this in your cover letter, which will make the recruiter understand the situation.  


7. Using a Wrong File Name

Are you sure you are going to use the filename: Resume Final Version 12?  

It is unprofessional, and it shows how you struggled to revise your resume. How about naming your resume with your first name, last name, and the word resume following it?  

Now, that sounds better, isn’t it?  


 8. Having Grammatical Errors on Your Resume

Are you one of the job seekers that write “attention to detail” and yet your resume is filled with grammatical errors?  

It’s embarrassing and only proves otherwise to your targeted company.  

Before sending your resume, try running it through Grammarly to see if you overlooked any spelling mistakes. Reread it aloud to ensure that it sounds right. Or have someone else look at your resume.  

Still unsure? Get better results with our certified resume writer at MyStar Resumes.  


9. Submitting a Generalized Resume

Creating a generalized resume is easy. It sounds lazy, which can result in the employer ignoring your resume.  

If you want to land that job, avoid this resume mistake and instead spend time customizing your resume to match the job listing. Tweak the necessary information. For example, if you are looking for a job in sales, then the employer is more likely to be interested in your experience in sales.  

How about creating a variety of resumes for the types of roles you are interested in so that you don’t have to re-work your resume for each job? This can save you time and energy.  


10. Putting Irrelevant Information 

In creating a resume, only include experiences and skills that are relevant to the job you want to land into.  

If you are applying for a role of a graphic designer, you don’t have to include your job years ago when you were working in a restaurant as a server. The same thing goes otherwise. If you are applying for a job as a restaurant manager, you wouldn’t need to include your portfolio of graphic designs.  


11. Using Repetitive Words in Job Descriptions

Having the same words and phrases in your job description create redundancy. It makes the impression that you did not bother to put an effort in having more variety of words in your resume. It also shows how much effort you can do once you are hired by the company.  


Are you applying for a job in 2021? Make sure to avoid these resume mistakes and stand out the next time you submit your resume.  

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