11 Common Resume Mistakes by College Students and How to Fix Them

Waving goodbye to your student life and securing a good job that is full of possibilities, opportunities and success begin with the perfect resume. However, it is a task for a recently graduated student to put together a resume that tells your story and sells your abilities in an appealing way.  

To make things easier, we put together a list of resume mistakes and how you can avoid making them in the pursuit of securing the job of your dreams.

Common Resume Mistakes

Let’s have a look at the following 11 common resume mistakes by college students and learn how to fix them.

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1) Apparent Issues/Errors in Spelling and Grammar

There is a difference between “loose” and “lose” or “your” and “you’re”. Not knowing where to use commas and punctuation also causes the employer to form an unfavorable impression of you. It gives out the idea that you do not care or are not detail oriented enough in your approach to things.

2) Putting Out the Exact Same Resume to All Companies

HR has to understand the purpose and objective of your job application. Sending out the same, generic resume to many companies does not serve this purpose. You need to tailor your resume based on the type of company or job position you are applying for. If the job description requires market analysis and planning, use real-life examples of how you have performed and the results achieved.

3) Mentioning Extra Curricular Activities, Hobbies and Passions

The kind of hobbies and passions you indulge in should only be mentioned if they contribute to your experience in that particular job position. Saying that you love reading books and watching movies does not provide anything concrete. You can talk about what you have read and how it has influenced your views in the field you have applied for positively.


4) Adding Futile Details and Facts about Yourself

If you say that you played a prominent role in a particular competition, the recruiter does not understand how these accomplishments help you in the job you are applying for. Instead of randomly throwing personal details about yourself such as handling social media accounts and doing flyers, talk about your experience and how it helped boost attendance when compared to the last event.

5)  Using the Same Words Again and Again

Do not use the same words or verbs for all your bullet descriptions and points. Adding variety helps keep your resume fresh. Use specific words that form a clear image and think up words that best explain your aim in a proper and meticulous way. On the other hand, do not give the impression that you have swallowed a thesaurus and are merely throwing words on paper.

6) Not Using Active Verbs

When adding bullet descriptions in your resume, you need to begin with an active verb. This is because it is the verb that showcases the skill. Instead of adding, “you were responsible for recruiting new employees” in a phrase, say you “recruit new hires”. This helps to make a stronger point.


7) Absence of Consistency in a Resume Layout

To keep your resume neat and attractive looking, you need to have a consistent format. Having the same font size for your headers and body text adds uniformity and makes you look reliable. If you have been using full sentences at the start of the resume, see that you continue it all the way to the end.

8) Not Understanding the Power of Bullets

Your recruiter goes through countless resumes. You have to make sure that yours is easy and seamless to read. Instead of lengthy paragraphs, opt for bullets. They are concise, precise and put your point across in a rapid manner. This helps you form a favorable impression on the recruiter.

9) Ignoring the Importance of a Professional Email ID

By adding in an email ID that goes something like, “” decreases your credibility and professional approach. Your friends may have found the ID to be hilarious in high school and college, but this may not be the case when it comes to professional recruiters. Use a professional email ID by adding a certain level of variation in your first and last name.


10) Undermining the Importance of Proofreading

No matter how carefully you have put together your resume, you have to give it a final read after completing it. This helps you correct mistakes and eliminate repeated words in your contact information. Problems in seamless layout, spellings and sentences can also be rectified. Whatever be the case, do not forget to proofread your document before submission.

11) Making your Resume too Long

Do not bore the employer by making your resume too long. After all, the recruiter’s attention span is limited as they have to go through hundreds of resumes. Remember, you don’t have to ramble about everything you ever did. Generally, a two-page resume is more than enough to get your achievements and qualifications across. Put in relevant content in a manner that shows how skilled and professional you are for the job position.

If you do not want your resume filed in a trash bin, you simply cannot make mistakes when creating it. Your resume needs to awaken the curiosity and interest of the recruiter if you want a sure shot at securing a position. Avoid these common mistakes and you are good to go.

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10+ Common Resume Mistakes by College Students and Tips to Fix Them- Infographic

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