Hiring managers have seen it all — from deceitful interviewees to hilarious typos. Unfortunately, most of these hiring faux pas happen with the best of intentions, so your resume may include embarrassing errors without your knowledge. Check your resume and cover letter for these four massive gaffes and save yourself from making one of these massive resume errors.


While it may seem obvious that you shouldn’t lie on your resume, not all lies are malicious. For instance, you may be tempted to say that you graduated with a degree, even if you only completed three years at your university. You may say you worked longer at a given company to cover a gap in your employment, or that you held a higher position than you actually did. Your resume and your cover letter are about putting a positive spin on your past experience, after all.

Though stretching the truth may seem innocent, it can actually cost you your position with the company — whether they find out during the interview or after you’ve been hired. Even if you’re qualified for the job, a lack of honesty is a character trait that the majority of managers find distasteful. So even if you’re only lying to get your foot in the door, you’re better off basing your resume on your actual merits, rather than tall tales.

Failing to Spell Check

Switching up a “there” and a “their” is one thing, but candidates who flub one letter in a word can make rather embarrassing spelling errors on their resumes. Not only can this make your resume or cover letter an object of ridicule, but it can also hint at your lack of thoroughness. If you can’t spell check professional documents, what makes the hiring manager think you’re going to be any more vigilant in the position? Do yourself a favor, and use the spell check tool and a manual reading before you submit any documents to your prospective company.

Using the Wrong Tone

Many industries call for a casual tone in their hiring documents, but in more corporate environments, this can be completely inappropriate. Don’t start emails with “hey” or use slang or colloquial terms unless you think it matches the company’s culture. Read the tone of the job posting. Is it highly professional, or more loose and casual? Do they ask you to show your personality in your cover letter, or do they seem to want a more traditional greeting? If you aren’t sure, always err on the side of caution.

However, no matter how professional you must be, you should always make an effort to stand out. Don’t copy-and-paste sample cover letters. Be yourself, even if you have to avoid contractions and use corporate buzzwords while you’re at it.

Misunderstanding the Position

Failing to understand what the company is looking for is embarrassing both during your application submission and during the interview. If you’re simply fishing for any open position, you may find yourself blindsided by a job you don’t quite get. If it isn’t your skill set or you’re making a career switch, make sure you learn everything you can about the job and the company before you make contact with the company. Go over their requirements and expectations. Do you understand everything they mention in detail? Do you research, and edit your resume or cover letter accordingly.

By avoiding these four huge resume errors, you can ensure that you aren’t a laughingstock at your desired company and that you have a genuine chance at the open position. Look over your resume carefully and weed out these resume errors.


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