Some mistakes are made so frequently that it’s worth highlighting them separately.

Even if you think you’ve done a good job of avoiding clichés and including the right information, it can’t hurt to give your resume a quick once over and make sure it doesn’t contain any of the following mistakes.

Top 6 mistakes

Click on the left icons to see 6 top resume mistakes.

1. A photo

Unless you work in an industry where your appearance is relevant to the job, like acting or modelling, you should never include a photo with your resume.

A photo increases the likelihood of discrimination or prejudice, and could also detract from your professional qualifications.

On average, employers spend just six seconds on your resume before making up their mind, so any time spent looking at your photo means less time spent looking at your key skills and relevant experience.

2. Negativity

We’ve all had jobs that didn’t necessarily end well, but you should never share negative information in your resume. Don’t list your reasons for leaving previous jobs, and don’t talk about aspects of the work that you didn’t enjoy or weren’t very good at.

Of course, if a question about why you left a previous job or whether you enjoyed the work comes up in your interview, you can briefly explain the situation, but your resume should contain only positive information.

3. Irrelevant information

The only personal information that should be on your resume is your name and contact information.

Things like height, weight, marital status, sexual orientation, number of children, ethnicity, religion or political affiliations should never be included on your resume, because again, this could have you unfairly excluded.

The only exception to this is including hobbies or personal interests that are relevant to the job. For example, if you are applying for a job at a music store, including the fact that you play an instrument or frequently go to concerts might help you to stand out in a good way.

4. Outdated information

If you’ve just graduated and don’t have much work experience, it might make sense to include the part- time jobs you’ve held in order to highlight your transferable skills.

But as a general rule, you should leave out any job information that is more than 15 years old, as it simply won’t be of interest to a hiring manager and will merely take up space.

Similarly, if you’re over 25, your high school information is no longer relevant, and that IT class you took in 1998 isn’t going to impress anyone.

5. Salary history or expectations

There is a time and place to discuss your salary, but salary history or expectations should never be included in your resume.

Aside from the fact that this unnecessary information will be taking up extra space on your resume, an employer might discount you if you indicate a figure that is too high, and you might be shooting yourself in the foot if you go too low.

If for some reason the job posting asks you to include your expected salary, it should go in your cover letter, but you’d still be better off writing “competitive” or “negotiable” as opposed to a specific figure.

6. Unusual fonts or layout

Originality is a good thing in some cases, but generally an employer just wants to be able to get through your resume quickly and easily.

Anything that makes it cumbersome or difficult to read, like oddly shaped paper or tiny and elaborate fonts or fancy borders should be avoided. Use a standard A4 size, avoid loud or mismatched colour schemes, and stick to a layout and format that makes sense and allows for easy reading.

  • Spelling Errors

    Of course, it goes without saying that you should run a spell check on your resume, but this won’t always catch every mistake. Make a point of proofreading your resume out loud to spot any awkward phrasing or misplaced words, commas or other punctuation marks.

    Having someone else read it can help too, as it can be difficult to spot errors in your own writing.

    Also make sure to double check information like your phone number and email address, because just one wrong number or symbol here could destroy all your efforts.

  • Demands

    Your resume is not the place to make demands or try to negotiate things like working hours or days off. All of this can be covered in your interview, or once you’ve received an offer.

    Until that time, you need to do your best to sell yourself. In short, your resume should be about what you can do for an employer, not what an employer can do for you.

  • Too much or too little

    Generally, your resume should be around two pages long. However, this is a guideline rather than a rule, because every applicant is different and every position is different.

    Too much information will bore the reader and probably get your resume thrown out, but too little information will also hinder your chances of being picked.

    If you have a lot of experience, don’t cut out relevant information out just to save on space, and definitely don’t try to use two pages if you can fit everything on one page.

  • Information that is false

    Although you want to present yourself in the best light possible, you should never lie about your education, work history or accomplishments.

    Exaggerating things is also a no-no, because even if an employer doesn’t notice your embellishments you’ll be setting yourself up for failure.

  • Invitation dos and don'ts

    Don't lie: Explain who you are and why you want to connect to someone - there's nothing worse than going in cold, and be honest if you are simply connecting with them because you liked the look of their profile.

    Do explain how you found them: Whether you met them at a networking event, used to go to school with them, or read an article online that they wrote, it's friendly to give them a quick reminder of how you're connected.

    Don't use the generic invitations: If you use the default invitation that LinkedIn chooses it can seem lazy, so take the time to write a personalised connection request.

    Do pay attention to detail: Chances are, the person you're connecting with has spent as much time as you have on perfecting their profile, so reference that in your invitation to connect. For example, you might want to say, "I noticed you worked at Company A - I have a friend that once worked there!"

  • Update your status

    Updating your status is one of the best ways to let people know you're looking for a new job. Mention events you've attended, or other people you have met on LinkedIn. Link to helpful resources and blog posts relevant to your career.

    Ask questions to your network, either directly asking about a job, or for interview tips and techniques.

  • Search for jobs

    It might sound simple, but doing a regular search for jobs is just as important as connecting to relevant people.

    Many recruiters will advertise positions without reaching out to you, so ensure you're making regular use of LinkedIn's job search functionality.