Top 10 Resume Mistakes, from a Recruiter’s Perspective!

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As recruiters, a large part of our job is reviewing multiple resumes on a daily basis.  We often  sort through 20, 30, even 50 resumes in a day. After many years of finely honing the resume review process, we have mastered the science of capturing important and relevant information. Our goal is to be able to have our clients get an accurate and meaningful snapshot of a candidate’s experience- but when grammar errors and inappropriate themes are scattered all over a resume, the task becomes difficult.

The  recruiters at Controller’s Group have compiled a list of the top 10 resume “don’ts” that make the review process difficult and cumbersome. If you have you been looking for a position, specifically  in Finance/Accounting, and haven’t been getting any traction, perhaps it is because your resume isn’t portraying you in a positive light.  A clean, concise, and well-edited resume is the first step to a great experience with recruiters.


  1. Listing awkward or inappropriate hobbies, certificates, or awards at the end of a resume. Resumes should be streamlined and professional. No need to list: “Knitting club,”  “1987 Softball champ,” or being a “Nintendo addict” at the end of a resume.  Save the personal stories for the 2nd interview.
  2. Spelling/grammar errors. This one couldn’t be more obvious. Take the extra steps: spell-check, and get at least two peer-edits of your resume.
  3. Using a tiny font in order to fit your resume on 1 page. In our experience, it’s better to have a longer resume than one that is difficult to read.
  4. Using multiple font colors in your resume. Keep the text black– again, we’re aiming for a clean, polished look.
  5. Capitalizing non proper nouns. Capitalizing “Accounts Payable and Receivable”  is not correct!  Most resumes that capitalize incorrectly are also inconsistent in which non proper nouns they capitalize– keep this in mind.
  6. A paragraph-formatted resume. Our clients only have a few minutes to glance at a resume– it must be quick and easy to read. Bullet-points are a great organizational tool.
  7. Spending more time explaining a previous job than your current one. This is not attractive to a recruiter or hiring manager. Have the most detail on your current positions and skills.
  8. Adding a photo to a resume. This is unnecessary and can often times be off-putting.
  9. Objectives that are too specific.  If a candidate lists  “gain a senior accountant role at a pre-IPO gaming company” as their objective, there is very little we can do for them. When someone is that specific, they  miss out on a lot of other opportunities that they will no longer be considered for.
  10. Going back more than 15 years on your resume. This is one reason resumes often end up being too long. In most cases, the work you did 20 years ago is  not at all relevant to what you are doing now. If you can’t part with past, include 1 line the covers previous companies and positions.

With over 25+ collective years of resume review, we have a keen eye at a glance for what the client is looking for.  If you have any questions, or would like to pass your resume our way, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We are more than happy to review your resume prior to submittal to a client and make revision recommendations.  Feel free to call us at (408) 294-0004 or email your resume to We’ve seen it all, and we’d love to help you in your search for a Finance/Accounting position in the Bay Area.


Laura, the CGI Marketing intern

& the whole CGI Team