Are You Making These Fatal Resume Mistakes?

Is your resume destined for the trash before it’s even considered?

Employers often receive an overwhelming number of applications for a single job posting.

If your resume is among them, you may only have seconds to catch the attention of the reviewer and any flaw could see your document trashed before serious consideration.

Here are 6 reasons an employer may not even consider your resume:

  1. Spelling mistakes and poor grammar.

What is says to the prospective employer. You are sloppy and you don’t care. The assumption is you will be equally sloppy with communication on the job.

Most (virtually all) employers will stop reading and cast your resume aside as soon as they see a spelling or grammatical error. There is just no excuse. Period. It’s not like a resume is written under fire with no chance to review. Between spell-check and other options including having a colleague or friend read it over there should be no reason for spelling or grammatical errors.

  1. Addressed to “Whom it May Concern” if the hiring manager or contact name has been given in the job posting.

What it says to the prospective employer: You couldn’t be bothered to customize your cover letter. Or you are just sending out your resume for any job you see posted and don’t really care about this particular opportunity.

If there is a contact name indicated in the job posting use it. It’s probably more common to not have a name so make sure you review the submitting information. Don’t be in such a rush to apply that you forget important details. If you do not have a contact name, addressing it to the Hiring Manager is best.

  1. Un-readable font

What it says to the prospective employer? You don’t care if your resume is difficult to read. And you don’t know the standard/comfortable reading size for business documents.

Too small is the worst but too big isn’t much better.

  1. Sloppy Layout

What it says to the prospective employer? You are lazy and do not pay attention to detail. If you don’t have pride in your own resume, how will you have pride in your work?

Varying heading and font sizes, too much white space, too little white space making it overly crowded and difficult to read – all these lead to a sloppy, distracting presentation.

  1. No obvious relevant experience or indication that your qualifications meet the requirements of the position.

What this says to the prospective employer? You are not right for the job.

Don’t make the hiring manager work to find relevant experience or keywords that connect to what they are looking for. They will not take the time. Get your critical information up front and make sure you use language based on their posting. If your experience doesn’t obviously match the job requirements, it’s your job to make the connection of relevant skills for the employer.

  1. An "Objective" statement about what you are looking for with no professional summary to indicate what you will bring to the job.

What this says to the prospective employer? Not much. Many employers will not even read it. Think of the mindset when a hiring manager picks up your resume. They want to know why you are right for the job.

In general Objective Statements are not ideal. They focus on what you want when the employer is trying to determine if you meet their needs. Replace your Objective with a Profile or Professional Summary. This should include only the skills, qualifications and key relevant experience that relate to the job for which you are applying.

The good news? All of these resume mistakes are easily avoided.

Take time to prepare and thoroughly review and proofread your resume. Have someone you trust give it a critique as well – we often don’t see our own mistakes. You want to give yourself the best chance for a hiring manager to recognize your fit for the job.

While you may not get the job or even an interview, you don’t want to think you were not seriously considered. Your resume is your first introduction to a potential new employer. Show them your pride in your work and yourself.

It just might be the start of a great new chapter in your career.




Post by Margaret Johnston,

As a career event professional, Margaret brings valuable insight and knowledge to the recruitment, management and development of high-performance teams for the event industry. A strategic and inspiring leader, Margaret has held executive roles for several global event management companies and key roles in the start up and orchestration of many high profile and international events.


EventsWork is the leading job board for event jobs in North America!

Check out the latest jobs here!


Job seekers: Create a Free Account to get job alerts, post your resume and more!

Employers: Post your event job today! Save time and money and reach a qualified audience. is dedicated to event jobs and career development resources for the event industryContact Us. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter,  and Linkedin.