Often, the only way that we're able to improve is by learning from our mistakes. Although it can be difficult to take constructive criticism, it can actually be the most valuable thing in helping us better our own quality of work.

Turns out, the worst mistake millennials make in their resumes is exuding a sense of smugness--demonstrating excessive pride in themselves or their achievements. And in professional settings and situations, this trait definitely shows.

The most effective way to avoid having someone older and wiser see right through your fluffy words is by maintaining a professional tone in describing your previous work experience and future goals. Don't insert jokes and sarcasm in a resume--even if you think it might impart a sense of good humor on the person reviewing it.

In addition, never exaggerate your accomplishments. You might think you're telling a harmless white lie when putting your one-pager together, but your lack of experience will be painfully clear after a short period of time on the job--or even a preliminary job interview. Employers who are well versed in millennial buzzwords, fluffed-up descriptions, and exaggerations know better than to trust flashiness on a resume, so don't waste their time.

As a rule, it's best if your resume reflects who you are at your most genuine, rather than trying to be someone you aren't. Whenever information is pumped up or falsified, it always makes itself known. And, sometimes, this means losing out on that perfect job you've been hoping for.

So, when you work through the final draft of your resume, make sure you take the time for one last read-through to ensure that you haven't overstepped the things you've accomplished in the past. Don't take liberties with fancy descriptions and silly, overdrawn exaggerations a potential employer will be able to see from a mile away. Err on the side of caution, and list your accomplishments as faithfully as you can.

And above all, don't be smug. Your job prospects will surely prosper.

Published on: Oct 13, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.