As a Master Resume Writer who provides a free critiquing service, I see too many mistakes, inexcusable errors that will cost you an interview opportunity. First impressions count; there is no room for a mistake.
A resume is one of the most important documents you will create; it can make or break you, so make sure it’s perfect. What does an unprofessional-looking resume tell a decision maker for a potential new job? It tells him/her that you are sloppy, careless, not serious and much more.
Most human resource professionals and recruiters see so many resumes each day, they have the luxury of being able to choose from a large pool of potential and probably equally qualified candidates. They can afford to be choosy about whom they call for an interview. Even one error is one too many. If your resume contains misspelled words, incorrect punctuation or typographical errors, it will likely be discarded; you are gone!
Your professionalism is reflected in the quality of this document or indeed in anything you present to the company. Are you impressed by an inferior sales or PowerPoint presentation? The same applies to a resume, it’s your sales tool. It displays how you will perform as an employee. Even if your job does not include secretarial or clerical duties, you should be able to articulate correctly what you do and how great you are at completing assignments.
When writing your resume, if you are unsure of correct language usage, have a friend or family member with strong language skills critique the resume. It will probably be the most helpful criticism you ever receive. The key is to proofread, proofread and proofread before you dispatch.
If you are not sure how to spell a word, consult a dictionary; do not rely on your word processor’s spell check. Also, if you are crossing borders between the U.S. and Canada, be aware of different spelling and minor punctuation differences.
Confusion often arises over the spelling of words such as “to” and “too,” “their” and “there,” and “here” and “hear.” It is crucial to learn the correct spelling and application of these frequently used words.
Tighten up and polish your grammar. Double negatives, slang, wrong tense or gender of words and poor usages resonates; you look uneducated.
Your career documents reflect your educational level and your degree of professionalism. To be considered for any position and win against the competition, you must present yourself at your very best. It will greatly enhance your chances of securing an interview.
Here are some bloopers I have recently seen in real resumes submitted for a critique.
- ‘Computer illiterate in the MS Windows environment.’
- ‘I have lurnt MS Word 2000 computor and spreadsheet progroms.’
- ‘Left my last job due to maturity leave.’
- ‘Recipient of a plague for Salesperson of the Year.’
- ‘Seeking a party-time position with potential for advancement.’
- ‘Accountable for generating an additional $2.3 million anal revenue.’