8 Resume Mistakes College Students Make

By Brittany Loeffler on April 28, 2017

Writing a resume is one of the most intimidating things you can do as a college student. With little professional experience, it can be difficult for college students to write an outstanding resume. It is a reflection of your accomplishments and is the only thing between you and the hiring manager of your dream job or internship.

Your resume leaves the hiring manager with an impression of who you are, what you have accomplished, and what they can expect from you. One little mistake in your resume can cost you that dream job.

Here’s a list of the eight most common resume mistakes many college students make so you won’t be one of them!

via Pixabay

1. Typos and Grammatical Errors

It’s completely unacceptable for misspelled words to be found in your resume. With dictionaries at the tips of our fingers and spell check, there is no reason that a word should be misspelled. This shows the hiring manager you are lazy and misleads them when you claim to be “detail oriented.”

Before handing in a resume, ask two to three different people to look it over closely. A new set of eyes is better than one!

2. Length

We get it, you may have a lot of stuff to put on your resume with all of your part-time jobs, extra curricular activities, and volunteer work. Rule of thumb is that your resume should be no longer than a page long, but no shorter than a page. It’s a little confusing, but almost everything about resume writing is.

If you find that your resume runs onto two pages, make the font a little smaller and decrease the margins. You may have to take some details out and just leave your title and the company you worked for.

via Pixabay

3. Format

Now that you have your resume down to the length of one page, make sure the formatting is easy to read and does not look cluttered. There should be plenty of white space making it easy for the hiring manager to scan your resume and have an idea of your accomplishments in five seconds.

Use bolded words for the most important information, such as companies you worked for and what position you held. Use indented bullet points to expand on your positions. Make sure to have headings for each section as well.

via Pixabay

4. Focus on Accomplishments, Not Duties

Contrary to popular belief, a resume is not an account of what you did while working at different jobs. You are not writing a job description. Instead, focus on the accomplishments you achieved while working in different positions. Be specific. If you won an award or were recognized for something, add it! If you grew a following on social media, add it!

5. High School Accomplishments

Now that you are in college, most internships won’t care about what you did in high school. It’s cool that you were in the spring musicals as a background dancer, but that won’t get you the accounting internship.

Don’t put down things that may have landed you a part-time job in high school. If you did something in high school that is transferrable to the position you are applying for and it is impressive, then you can put it on your resume. For example, if you were the team captain for the competitive mathematics team and won multiple competitions, then put it down if you are applying for a position in finance.

6. GPA

This is one of the most controversial aspects of a resume for college students. Do you put your GPA since you’re in school? Some may say yes and some may say no. My rule of thumb is that if you have an extremely impressive GPA on top of extra curricular activities and part-time jobs, then put it. If it’s mediocre and doesn’t make people say “That’s great!” and mean it, don’t put it. Your boss probably won’t care about the grades you received in school. Working is much different than sitting in a classroom.

via Pixabay

7. Being Vague

Be specific about your accomplishments. Use numbers and things that are measurable. If you managed social media for an organization, put down how many followers you gained and in how many weeks. Add analytics and views each post received. If you write blog posts, specify how many times a week you write and how many words they typically are.

8. “One-Size-Fits-All” Resume

You must cater your resume for each position you apply for. If you are applying for a marketing position, the hiring manager does not want to know that you used to be a line chef at a fancy restaurant. Your resume should express that you have experience in the field and that you can add value to their company. This may take some extra time, but it is worth it if it lands you an interview!

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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