As a professional resume writer for over 20 years, I’ve given thousands of resume critiques, and every day, I continue to be astounded by the lack of attention to grammar, spelling, and language from clients at every level. Here’s the truth, and I can’t emphasize this enough, these mistakes will guarantee your resume goes directly into the “no” pile, even if you are the perfect candidate. Some of the most common errors I see on resumes are; the use of the personal pronoun, the word I, my, he, or she. Then there’s the confusion of similar sounding words used incorrectly such as affect versus effect, for spelled F-O-R, confused with fore used in golfing, and the number four.
Your word processing language should also be set to the version of English used in the country in which you are job hunting. For instance, when I moved to Canada from the UK, I quickly learned to write program not programme. There are subtle differences between U.S. and Canadian spellings: in Canada centre, in the USA center. The words colour, labour, and honour all have a “u” added in Canada that isn’t used in U.S. spelling. Be aware that spellcheck doesn’t detect and redline all mistakes. On a lighter note, some of the mistakes I’ve witnessed are absolute doozies. Here are some of the errors that obviously didn’t face the scrutiny of human proofing.
“Invest in securities, stocks, and bones.”
“I’m a pornographer.” In fact, they were a photographer.
“Recipient of a plague for Salesperson of the Year.”
“I’m a rabid typist.”
I’d like to thank these folks for the great giggles, but all fun aside, misspelled words reveal sloppy work and a lack of attention to detail. It’s essential to proofread and have someone else proofread your resume before you submit it.