Oops-Proof Your Resume: Five Top Tips

Posted by Lisa Odierno

July 02, 2012 @ 04:00 PM

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Resume writing can be a challenging task to take on yourself. There's a lot to consider when it comes to resume formatting, keywords and job descriptions. These are all important elements of a stellar resume, but you may be overlooking the little things that show your attention to detail, or lack thereof.

A small typo can be a big turnoff to potential employers. Proofread your resume, cover letter and all supporting job search documents to avoid these common mistakes before submitting them to any posting.

Spill Check, Spell Cheek, Spell Check.

Read every word on your resume carefully. The Spell Check function in Microsoft Word will only pick up spelling and grammatical errors, not misused words. So, if you type “too” when you really meant “two,” Word will not recognize the mistake.

Please try your call again later.

You applied for your dream job and guess what- the company wants to interview you! However, your cell phone number is off by one digit and the hiring manager is unable to reach you. Be sure to double check both the telephone number and email address listed in your contact information. You’ll want recruiters, hiring managers and potential employers to have easy access to you.

Punctuation! Mistakes.

Punctuation errors can disrupt the readability and flow of a resume. Missing or misplacing a period, colon, comma or semi-colon can easily confuse a reader. Make sure each punctuation mark is in the right place and avoid using exclamation points!

You’ve been working since 1898?

Review the dates of your employment. We know you weren’t a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative at the turn of the century, but according to your resume you were marketing cutting-edge products to physicians at that time.

Verb Tenses

The description of your current role should be written in the present tense while the responsibilities you held at prior jobs should be written in the past tense. Check that you followed this rule closely and have not switched between tenses throughout the document.

Did you make any of these common mistakes on your resume? After you’ve thoroughly reviewed it yourself, ask a friend to proofread your resume for you, too. Sometimes a fresh perspective can really help bring simple errors to light and give you the assurance you need to apply with confidence.