6 common resume mistakes women make, and how to avoid them

common resume mistakes women make

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If you’re a woman, it’s essential to be aware of the most common resume mistakes that you might make – and how to avoid them. Unfortunately, many women fall into the trap of thinking their unique skills and experiences won’t be relevant in the job market. This is simply not true. In this post, we will discuss six of the most common resume mistakes women make and how to avoid them.

Failing to sell themselves

Women have come a long way in the business world, but there’s one area where they still tend to lag behind their male counterparts: selling themselves on their resumes. Whether it’s due to self-doubt or humblebragging, many women fail to highlight their accomplishments and showcase their unique skills. As a result, their resumes often read like laundry lists of job duties and education rather than persuasive documents that sell their skills and experience.

Running a persuasive document is far superior to offering the dry laundry list that can be a costly mistake — as it fails to demonstrate what makes them the best candidate for the job.

The good news is that this is an easy mistake to fix. If you want your resume to stand out from the rest, make sure you take the time to sell yourself. Don’t downplay your accomplishments but present them in a way that is both humble and confident. Don’t forget to include relevant keywords and show why you’re the best person for the job. With a little effort, you can ensure that your resume will help you land the position you deserve.

Including too much personal information

Women have much experience when it comes to juggling many tasks at once and making sure that everything is in its proper place. However, when it comes to creating a resume, this wealth of experience can actually work against them. One of the most common resume mistakes women make is including too much personal information on their resumes.

While it is essential to include your contact information, such as your email address and phone number, your home address or date of birth is often irrelevant. Another example: listing your children’s ages or mentioning that you’re planning on starting a family can dissuade employers from considering you for the role. In addition, personal interests and hobbies should be left off the resume unless they are directly relevant to the job you are applying for.

In general, try to strike a balance between giving the reader enough information to get an idea of whom you are without bogging down your resume with excessive detail. After all, you don’t want to give potential employers any reason to doubt your ability to do the job.

Using gendered language

In today’s job market, already seriously impacted by covid-19, you must ensure your resume is as strong as possible. Unfortunately, this can be difficult for women, who often face discrimination when applying for jobs. A common mistake women make on their resumes is using “gendered” language.

Language is often subconsciously gendered, and in today’s world, words like “dependable” or “aggressive” are more likely to be associated with men than women. On the other hand, expressions such as  “took care of” or “looked after” (a team or a project) refer more often to women than men. Even our elites perpetuate this kind of stereotype.

Using gendered language on your resume can send subtle signals that you’re not the right fit for the job. Some women think that they have to give off a strong woman vibe and include that in gendered language talk.

Don’t sabotage a position before you even get started. Instead, opt for gender-neutral language allowing your qualifications to speak for themselves. With a little effort, you can ensure that your resume will not be subconsciously discounted by hiring managers.

Failing to proofread their resumes

In addition to the common problems, such as crafting an engaging summary and highlighting relevant skills, women also have to contend with gender bias. Studies have shown that recruiters are more likely to penalize women for mistakes that are seen on their resumes.

I have seen men and women manager’s treat the same errors as forgivable in men’s resumes that are problematic in a woman’s resume.

As a result, women must take the time to proofread (and reproofread) their resumes before submitting them. Grammatical errors and typos are a surefire way to give potential employers the impression that you’re sloppy and careless — or worse — that you don’t know what your doing. Please don’t eliminate your resume before you even get started.

While everyone makes the occasional mistake, frequent errors show a lack of attention to detail, which is not a trait most employers are looking for. So before you hit “send” on your next job application, take the time to review your resume carefully. A few minutes of proofreading could make all the difference in landing your dream job.

Using a generic resume template

Anyone who has spent time on the internet knows that there are a million and one different resume templates. And, of course, each one claims to be the perfect solution for job seekers. Unfortunately, however, when it comes to resumes, one size does not fit all.

A generic resume template may work well for some people — but it is often a mistake for women. The reason is that generic templates tend to emphasize work experience over other qualifications, such as education and skills.

The generic resume template can be a problem for women, who often take breaks from their careers to raise families or pursue other interests. As a result, they may have gaps in their employment history that they need to explain.

By customizing their resumes to highlight their unique qualifications, women can ensure that they are presenting themselves in the best possible light to potential employers.

Writing an objective unrelated to the position they apply for

One of the most common pieces of advice is to write a resume objectively. But what happens if your objective is irrelevant to the job you’re applying for? Unfortunately, this is a mistake that many women make. Whether they are trying to be too general or unsure of their career goals, an unrelated objective can be a major turn-off for potential employers — especially to a man who may be the resume triage person.

In addition to being a waste of valuable space that could be used to highlight qualifications, an irrelevant objective shows a lack of understanding of what the employer is looking for. Instead, better use of that space would be to list three or four qualifications that are relevant to the position.

For example, suppose you’re applying for a job as a marketing manager. In this case, you might list qualifications such as “Strong communication and presentation skills,” “Experience developing and executing marketing campaigns,” and “Proven ability to manage budgets and achieve objectives.”

Writing your objectives in this manner gives the potential employer a better sense of whether you’re a good fit for the job.


So, there you have it. Six common resume mistakes women make (that men don’t typically make) and six tips on avoiding them. Of course, these are just general guidelines; everyone’s resume will be different, and what works for one person might not work for another. But hopefully, this article has given you a good starting point for creating or updating your resume.

As I said before, your resume is your first chance to make a great impression, so take the time to ensure it will serve you well. Avoid common resume mistakes if you want to give yourself the best chance of snagging that job.

If you need help getting started, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from friends or professionals who have gone before you. Thanks for reading, and best of luck with your job search.