Top 20 Resume Mistakes to Avoid

What is the purpose of a resume? There is only one – to get an interview. Wondering why you are not landing interviews? If you have been diligently applying as I suggested, it is most likely that your resume needs some work. Over the years, I have reviewed tens of thousands of resumes. Many of them are just not interview-worthy. Don’t want to get your resume tossed? Stop making the 20 mistakes below.


  • The following advice is based on my personal job-hunting experience, conversations with recruiters/hiring managers/professionals at large financial institutions in Canada, and my coaching experience at 36paths. Disagreements are always welcome.

  • The target audience of this article is entry-level job seekers (less than 5 years out of university) trying to break into finance/accounting industry in Canada; some of the advice may not apply to folks at a different career stage, located outside of Canada, or targeting other industries.

  • These are merely patterns that I have seen. In other words, this is more of a correlation than causation. You may find plenty of successful counterexamples.

1. Typos & Grammatical Errors

The number one reason your resume gets dinged. There is absolutely no excuse to have any spelling mistakes whatsoever. When hiring managers screen resumes, they are looking for reasons to reject you. Once they spot a typo, your resume immediately goes to the “No” pile. Why? It shows that you cannot write properly and/or that you have no attention to detail (even if you put “A detail-oriented professional…” on your Summary section).