College Graduates: Don't Make These Common Resume Mistakes

Graduating this May? Avoid these common and costly resume mistakes. [TWEET]

Writing your first resume for the ‘real world’ can certainly be a challenge. While there are some basic guidelines all recent college grads can follow, the format of your first professional resume will vary depending upon the information you have to work with.

I recently shared with Business Insider's Jacquelyn V. Smith a sample resume of a recent college graduate that includes many of these most common mistakes.  Below are some of the most frequent errors I encounter and how you can avoid making them. 

Misspelled Words & Grammatical Mistakes 

After you finish writing your resume, take some time to review it. Then review it again. Then ask your roommate who majored in English to read it yet again. In this mobile age, we've grown accustomed to using short-hand for texts and tweets, and have become all too reliant on spell-check. Still worried about the little mistakes? Try reading your resume from the bottom up.

Generic Objectives -- Or Any Objective

Let me be clear. I don't believe in including an objective on your resume, ever. Objectives are usually super generic and all about you, the job seeker. This isn't what a prospective employer cares about. Instead, include a professional title at the top of your resume that clearly states your job goals, like "Entry-Level Sales and Marketing Associate". Underneath that, include three to five sentences that succinctly explains your qualifications for your target job.

Formatting Inconsistencies

It really doesn't matter how you choose represent your employments dates ("Sep 2013 – May 2014" vs "Fall 2013 – Spring 2014") or locations ("Brooklyn, NY" vs. "Brooklyn, New York") on your resume. The only thing that matters is that you remain consistent throughout your document. The same goes with how you choose to format job titles and company names. 

References Available Upon Request

You only get one page for your resume when you’re an entry-level candidate. Don’t waste any of that precious real estate by listing your references or including a note such as “References available upon request” at the bottom of your resume. Employers don’t ask for that information until you make it to a face-to-face interview, and trust me, they know you’ll provide it if they ask.

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Amanda Augustine provides job search and career guidance for recent college graduates and professionals looking to improve their careers and find the right job, sooner. Follow Amanda at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and like her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute advice. Want to work with Amanda? Learn more at