LISTS :: 100 RESUME MISTAKES
1. Shadow text behind name
2. Name in homebrew, "quill-drawn" Evanescence-era handwriting font
3. Initials/monogram as logo
4. Meaningless squiggle or set of squares as your logo
5. Too many fonts
6. Times New Roman (in a design resume)
7. Bad tracking
8. Arial/Helvetica (again, in a design resume)
9. Lo-res "optimized" images embedded in pdf
10. Forgetting to change file properties from "awesome_resume.indd"
11. Colors. Oh so many colors.
12. Too many lines
13. Bad indentation; no gutters; no layout
14. Looks like it was created in Word; uses same indentation structure as Word
15. "Clever" initial as logo, like the intertwined STL on Cardinals hats
16. Two lines crossing at the corner and extending out—looks contrived
17. Bad line weight
18. More than one page
19. Including your birth date?! (on a U.S. resume)
20. Misspellings, extra spaces
22. Overdesigned; loads slow; too many graphics; someone just bought Photoshop
23. Lines placed seemingly at random
24. The awful background watermark
25. Lo-res inline thumbnail of your awful artwork
26. Tiny fonts
27. Huge, honkin' fonts
28. Mix-and-match serif fonts
29. Poor leading
30. Flower-print "stationery" or "scrapbook" background
31. Any colored or dark background
32. The clever "flow-chart" resume
33. Any headers or subheads in italics—almost always looks bad
34. Font sizes for top header bear no relationship to font sizes for the rest
35. Beginning all your job descriptions with, "Worked to..."
36. The dreaded double line—just because it exists doesn't mean it goes in the resume
37. Awkward negative-space, everything-highlighted-in-gray-but-headers look
38. Use of the too-wide "Black" variant of a font for your headers
39. Name sideways in an awful, colorful, pixellated font
40. Layers; drop shadows; fancy gradients—save it for the portfolio, if at all
42. Anything that makes the layout look offset/off balance/wrong
43. Tables with borders
44. Use of underlined or strike-thru fonts or sandwiching headers between lines
45. The random squiggle as design tool—experiment elsewhere
46. Navy blue and black—you wouldn't wear it, don't send it
47. Width of clever line extension of a letter in your name doesn't match up with the font
48. Looks like sports team press release
49. Not centering header text on its background swatch
50. The "career objective" line—"...to secure a position as a..."—no one cares
51. Inline, embedded copies of logos you've created for clients
52. Your own awful logo
53. Headers inside vector circles: Wowzers, you dragged a cursor to create a shape!
54. Dividing lines made of plus signs, intermittent dots, etc. Again, just because you can...
55. Colors you wouldn't use to decorate your own home: evergreen, puce, peanut...
56. Page corners bracketed by random pixellated swirls you "created" in Illustrator
55. Fonts all the same weight, no bolds
56. Tilted text, anything else that shows how XTREME*~! you are
57. "Clever" wingding variants you downloaded from a free font site
58. Big header at the top says "RESUME" (and in italics, too) instead of "YOUR NAME"
59. Use of columns to cram in way too much crap
60. Borderline cliched: the "text ramping outward along a slope, I can use InDesign" resume
61. The cliched blog-template "typography" brackets or paragraph markers
62. Difference between capital and lowercase letters artificially exaggerated
63. Cover letter, resume and portfolio all in one massive, 5 MB document
64. "This resume created in Adobe InDesign, using blah blah, blah..." Best viewed in Internet Explorer, eh?
65. Large areas of resume covered in black background, still wet hour after printing
66. Whispy quill pen graphic in the header. No, no, no, no, no.
67. Playskool plastic blue
68. Every single font pixellated, suggesting a default viewing size problem
69. Difference in font size between first and last name
70. "Typewriter" fonts—because you're a WRITER, get it?
71. Some stuff right-aligned, some stuff left-aligned, font sizes all over the place
72. Apple logo glyphs—because you're familiar with Macs, get it?
73. Listing cliched industry websites you frequent as "extra credit"
74. Full-res graphics but compressed, pixellated fonts
75. Headers/logos "peeking out" from behind a line. Not clever.
76. Using a "trendy" Asian character as your logo when you're not Asian
77. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
78. Huge, inexplicable blocks of white space at top of resume, header crunched to one side
79. A resume designed to be folded like a brochure, if only it had even sections and gutters
80. Including second page, ostensibly designed to be printed on back of resume, in online version
81. "To Whom It May Concern, ..."
82. "Watercolor splash" background image with a drop shadow—wtf?!
83. "References available upon request."
84. Resume called "My freelance resume.indd"—Whose? Do I know you?
85. "I enjoy helping to solve design problems and..."
86. The capitalization of random Nouns
87. Overlapping first and last name—not clever
88. That little useless header with your set of one-word themes: Graphics. Web. Design. Print. [whispers] Wow...
89. A JPEG of your signature. Anywhere.
90. All italics—are you kidding me?
91. A 3D "pill" blob under your name, like a cheap late-'90s Web menu from awesomemenus.com
92. Improperly exporting your resume to PDF, leaving white spaces, artifacts around borders
93. Larger than about 100 KB
94. RESUME in huge shadow letters behind main text—looks like VOID on a bad check
95. Calling your resume "Professional Resume"—as opposed to your drinking resume, right?
96. "Resume" with an accent only on one of the Es, rather than both or none
97. A border of any sort
98. Subheads larger than headers
99. Use of rounded boxes that don't line up—why the hell does no one use guides?
100. A cutesy Twitter-esque vector-birdie logo: You are not Chuck Palahniuk's jacket cover designer