Ask BCH: What’s the worst mistake you can make on your resume?

So you’re ready to apply for a job. You’ve done your research, updated your resume and cover letter, and you’re about to send in your application. Hopefully you’re feeling confident about your chances, but it’s never a bad idea to take one final look to make sure your resume is perfect. Did you know there are many common resume mistakes that can be easily avoided?

We asked the experts at TRSM’s Business Career Hub:

What’s the worst mistake you can make on your resume?

Failing to highlight what makes you different from everyone else is the biggest mistake I see people make. ‘Great communication skills,’ ‘a team player’… Guess what? Everyone says that! Focus on what makes you unique. No one else has your exact combination of skills, experiences, passions, interests and ideas. Your resume should make you stand out from the crowd, not blend into it.” – Juliana Scharrer, Career Consultant (Business Technology Management)


Not tailoring your resume to the opportunity you are applying for is a really bad mistake! The recruiter/hiring manager will be able to tell if a resume is generic, and will likely form the impression that you aren’t serious about the job you’ve applied to. Tailoring your resume helps improve the quality of your application — it’s not always about quantity.” – Laura Henshaw, TRSM Co-op Coordinator

SNEHA“I believe the worst mistake you can make on your resume is not proofreading for spelling/grammatical errors that can be easily avoided. Recruiters have x-ray vision and are quickly able to identify these mistakes — which in turn make you look bad. Take the time to go through your resume carefully, and I highly recommend to read it out loud. As silly as it sounds, it’s the best way to eliminate errors!” – Sneha Deokie, Career Consultant (Hospitality & Tourism Management, Retail Management)

THEEBANGeneral statements on your resume are a big mistake. They don’t help the employer understand your specific skill set or what you have achieved. By being specific, you are able to identify tools, frameworks, or other resources you have utilized to reach your achievements. This also tells the employer that you are well-versed in your area of expertise/interest.” – Theeban Pathmanathan, Career Consultant (Marketing Management)

JOSE“The worst mistake is to treat your resume like your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and include your entire history and the kitchen sink, fearing that the reader will miss out on your great experience. The fact is, employers take just a few seconds to read your resume, so the more you customize it for the position you are targeting the better. Find a balance between including content that will let the reader assess how qualified you are for the position, while leaving some things out so that there are reasons to invite you for an interview to learn more.” – José Cabral, Career Consultant (Human Resources/Organizational Behaviour, Entrepreneurship & Strategy, Health Services Management and Health Information Management)

The TRSM Business Career Hub offers lots of resources for job seekers, including resume building sessions. Visit their website to learn more.