We all know that resumes are essential. It is the first thing a prospective employer sees, and it can make or break your chances of getting an interview. So why do so many people get them wrong? The reasons are varied, but some common mistakes can be easily avoided with just a bit of time and effort. Here’s what you should avoid if you want to stand out from the crowd:

1. Don’t Lie About Qualifications

It’s one thing to try and boost your employment history with a bit of creative writing; it’s quite another to lie about your qualifications blatantly. And while you’re at it, don’t be tempted to exaggerate either. If you say that you have three years of experience when you only have two, then there could be consequences down the line.

Lying on a resume will look highly suspicious if an employer decides to do a background check, so it is always best to avoid stretching the truth.

2. Don’t Go Wild With The Design

If you take one thing away from this article, let it be this: do not use a one-size-fits-all resume design you found on the internet. People are busy, and nobody has time to study your resume for five minutes to figure out what it is saying.

Also, do not overthink things when looking for an appropriate font; Times New Roman will do just fine for most situations (if you’re looking for something more unique, then go for something like ‘Explay’ or ‘Freestyle Script’).

3. Don’t Make It Too Long

The sweet spot seems to be around two pages long. Anything more than this will likely result in your document being tossed into the trash can before the reader even gets past page two. Remember, your resume is not a life story; it is merely a snapshot of your work history and experience.

4. Don’t List Every Job You Ever Had

Don’t list every job you ever did in chronological order either because you’ll look like you didn’t know what you wanted to do with your life. Instead, focus on the most relevant jobs to the type of employment you seek and structure them by industry sector and location.

5. Do Make Sure Your Resume Is Accurate

Never make assumptions when doing research. If there is any inconsistency, it will likely be caught during the interview process or background check, and you could lose an offer or a job because of it.

As with most things, there is nothing wrong with experimenting to find your style and cadence. But it is essential not to make assumptions about how a resume should look or be structured. Remember, employers are busy people who need an easy-to-read document that they can digest quickly and then move on with their lives.

Remember these tips the next time you sit down to prepare a resume.