The 7 Things On Your Resume That Every Boss Hates to See

By Chelsea Babin

Until you’re in the position to hire one or more people you can’t quite understand what a boss goes through when sorting through resumes. You can spend hours creating what you think is the best resume possible but, when you aren’t surrounded by tons of resumes on a daily basis, you may not know which pitfalls or mistakes to avoid. There are certain things on a resume that really push a lot of the wrong buttons once they’re in front of a boss and, if you’re not careful, these could be the things to knock you out of the running for your dream job. Want to make sure bosses don’t hate certain aspects of your resume? Get rid of the following 7 things on your resume ASAP!

1. Typos and Grammatical Errors: Everything you’ve ever read about resumes will have warned you of the dangers of typos and grammatical errors on your resume yet they continue to pop up all the time. Particularly in positions that require a high attention to detail or a degree, these blemishes on your resume could not only be the thing that makes a boss hate your resume, they could also be the thing that makes a boss throw your resume away without proper consideration. Double check, triple check, and have others review your resume before you send it out and make a ton of bosses red in the face.

2. Writing In the 3rd Person: This one is actually contested, some bosses hate how impersonal the 3rd person is while others are relieved to see it because it means that not every sentence will start with the letter “I”. Use your best judgment here but, in general, writing in the 3rd person can make you sound robotic, overly formal, or old fashioned, which isn’t how you want to appear when applying for a position in the IT industry.

3. Unprofessional Email Address: It’s best to use your personal email address on your resume but, if your personal email address looks something like or, it’s time to create a different one for resume purposes. While it isn’t necessarily frowned upon to use a free service like Gmail, it’s definitely time for you to abandon the unprofessional first parts that make bosses wonder if you’re still in middle school.

4. Super Casual Tone: While most people have abandoned the overly robotic tones of resumes past, some have gone too far into casual territory. Make sure you’re avoiding unnecessary abbreviations, the over use of “like” or “so”, and anything that looks more like a text message than a line you might read in an article from a professional news site. The stiff, robotic tone can be avoided with a little infusion of your personality and conversational writing but, if you go too casual, you may start to look unprofessional.

5. Distracting Font or Background: No one in their right mind would use Comic Sans on a resume, but why? Most resumes have a solid white background, is there a reason? In an effort to make your resume stand out it may be tempting to turn to a flashy font or unique background to liven it up but, unless you’re working in Graphic design or UI, your flashy choices could end up just distracting from the important information on your resume. Bosses don’t need your resume to have a unique presentation, instead, they need to see something in the content of your resume that shows why you’re a good candidate for the job.

6. Buzzword After Buzzword: Team player. Go-getter. Hard worker. Go-to person. Dynamic. If your resume has a ton of buzzwords back to back and no real substance, it’s guaranteed to get some eye rolls and maybe even a few passes from bosses who have seen it all before. While mentioning that you’re self-motivated isn’t a bad thing, the best thing you can do on your resume is prove it. List an example or two under your most recent jobs of something you accomplished, solved, or created using your self-motivated attitude. Rather than simply stating buzzword after buzzword, make sure you use them in context so that bosses don’t think you’re just packing in the right words without having the experience or personality to back it up.

7. Too Brief or Too Long: While these qualities are opposite, the thought behind them makes them both negatives. When you’re too brief on your resume it makes you look like you’re lacking in experience. When your resume is too long it’s hard to get through and hard to pinpoint your actual strengths, talents, and achievements. Don’t leave bosses wondering what you can do, make sure it’s clearly stated in a concise, easy to read manner so that they don’t need to go sifting through dense paragraphs to find out why they should hire you or simply assume they shouldn’t because your resume doesn’t mention any of the skills or experience they’re looking for.

Your resume can cut your job search short or send you onto the next step in the hiring process. For that reason, combing through your resume and ensuring that these 7 things that bosses hate to see on resumes are nowhere in sight is definitely in your best interest. Good luck on your job search!