Strategy The 13 most common résumé mistakes

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Avoid these all-too-common résumé errors.

Always double check your résumé. play

Always double check your résumé.

(COD Newsroom)
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Having an error-free résumé is pretty crucial.

Typos, however minor, could signal to potential employers that you're sloppy or you don't care enough to proofread your work, and they can really hurt your chances during the six seconds hiring managers typically take to make their initial "fit/no fit" decision.

So which résumé errors are the most common?

Career site Zippia used Python language tools to analyze 100,000 résumés for errors.

The résumés were randomly selected from a total of 7.5 million résumés, sourced from January 2015 to June 2017 and collected from Zippia's website, federal and local databases, and other sites.

After that, the team at Zippia looked through the résumés and ruled out formatting issues, email addresses, and names, along with any other items that didn't qualify as true errors.

They then tallied how many times they found each individual error in their sample of 100,000 résumés.

Here are the most common résumé mistakes ranked in order of the number of instances from least to most common:

13. Forgetting to capitalize 'I'm'

13. Forgetting to capitalize 'I'm' play

13. Forgetting to capitalize 'I'm'

(Áine Cain/Business Insider)

Number of errors per 100,000 résumés: 1,140

This obvious and noticeable error could leave recruiters scratching their heads.



12. Including the phrase 'all of the' in front of normal nouns

12. Including the phrase 'all of the' in front of normal nouns play

12. Including the phrase 'all of the' in front of normal nouns

(Áine Cain/Business Insider)

Number of errors per 100,000 résumés: 1,167

You can just use "all" in front of normal nouns. Using "all off" isn't necessarily wrong, per se, but it is much clunkier phrasing. And that's the last thing you want on your résumé.



11. Nouns, pronouns, and verbs don't agree

11. Nouns, pronouns, and verbs don't agree play

11. Nouns, pronouns, and verbs don't agree

(Áine Cain/Business Insider)

Number of errors per 100,000 résumés: 1,273

The subject and verb in a sentence must agree — either they should both be singular or they should both be plural.



10. Using words like 'admit,' 'appreciate,' 'avoid,' and 'enjoy' with a base form of a verb (instead of the gerund form of a verb)

10. Using words like 'admit,' 'appreciate,' 'avoid,' and 'enjoy' with a base form of a verb (instead of the gerund form of a verb) play

10. Using words like 'admit,' 'appreciate,' 'avoid,' and 'enjoy' with a base form of a verb (instead of the gerund form of a verb)

(Áine Cain/Business Insider)

Number of errors per 100,000 résumés:1,470

Saying that you are "accustomed to write" is incorrect. The correct version of this sample sentence is "accustomed to writing." Adding "ing" allows the verb to function as a noun.



9. Use of 'a' vs. 'an'

9. Use of 'a' vs. 'an' play

9. Use of 'a' vs. 'an'

(Áine Cain/Business Insider)

Number of errors per 100,000 résumés: 1,796

Remember, use "an" before words that start with vowels or a mute "h" and "a" before words that start with consonants.



8. Word repetition

8. Word repetition play

8. Word repetition

(Áine Cain/Business Insider)

Number of errors per 100,000 résumés: 2,064

Run your résumé through spellcheck to see whether you've accidentally written out the same word twice in a row. Or better yet, give it a second read yourself.



7. Using an indefinite article instead of a definite article before a superlative

7. Using an indefinite article instead of a definite article before a superlative play

7. Using an indefinite article instead of a definite article before a superlative

(Áine Cain/Business Insider)

Number of errors per 100,000 résumés: 2,675

Indefinite articles like "an" and "a" introduce unspecific nouns, whereas definite articles like "the" introduces a specific noun.



6. Messing up hyphens

6. Messing up hyphens play

6. Messing up hyphens

(Áine Cain/Business Insider)

Number of errors per 100,000 résumés: 3,413

Make sure you're not forgetting or misusing hyphens.



5. Leaving in an agreement error between a numeral and a singular countable noun

5. Leaving in an agreement error between a numeral and a singular countable noun play

5. Leaving in an agreement error between a numeral and a singular countable noun

(Áine Cain/Business Insider)

Number of errors per 100,000 résumés: 4,465

Proofread your work to avoid this simple typo.



4. Forgetting to add commas after conjunctive or linking adverbs

4. Forgetting to add commas after conjunctive or linking adverbs play

4. Forgetting to add commas after conjunctive or linking adverbs

(Áine Cain/Business Insider)

Number of errors per 100,000 résumés: 5,257

One way you can sidestep this issue is to avoid using lots of clunky clauses on your résumé altogether.



3. Leaving out possessive apostrophes

3. Leaving out possessive apostrophes play

3. Leaving out possessive apostrophes

(Áine Cain/Business Insider)

Number of errors per 100,000 résumés: 5,452

Don't forget to include the possessive apostrophe.



2. Using the filler phrase 'in a ... manner'

2. Using the filler phrase 'in a ... manner' play

2. Using the filler phrase 'in a ... manner'

(Áine Cain/Business Insider)

Number of errors per 100,000 résumés: 6,543

It's best to just cut out filler phrases.



1. Including successive sentences beginning with the same word

1. Including successive sentences beginning with the same word play

1. Including successive sentences beginning with the same word

(Áine Cain/Business Insider)

Number of errors per 100,000 résumés: 13,332

Make sure to vary your writing. Recruiters don't want to have to slog through a repetitive résumé.