Friday, October 23, 2009

Top 5 Reasons Why Your Resume Sucks

3. You have Grammar And Spelling Mistakes
Grammar and spelling errors plague résumés! I once had a client who indicated that he put a plane in the ‘hanger’. Really, I thought – that had to be some closet! Spell check will not pick up things like this because hanger is a word, the wrong one, but a word nonetheless. Whatever the reason for the mistake - this is a costly error if detected by a hiring manager.

I would like to say that there is a catchall that will help you identify all errors related to grammar and spelling, but alas, I cannot. Of course use spell check. You should also read your résumé backwards, yes, backwards to help you catch errors. I also recommend identifying a friend or family member that is rock solid with English grammar and spelling. Have that person review your résumé to ensure that all errors are caught before you submit the résumé. You should also consider getting The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, which will definitely put you on the straight and narrow with respect to proper word usage. You will still need to get help with the spelling area though.

4. Your Presentation is Awful
How your résumé looks is also important! Do your dates line up? Do lines roll to a second or third page? Consistent and an aesthetically pleasing presentation will help your résumé shine. This demonstrates attention to detail – an all-important characteristic. If your résumé looks sloppy, what will the hiring manager think? Possibly that you are disorganized and lack focus to ensure the details are reviewed. First impressions are lasting ones, and you want your résumé to clearly articulate that you are focused, capable, and able to contribute to positive and lasting change. Choose an updated font like Book Antiqua in 10pts, Cambria in 10pts, or Tahoma in 9.5pts. Times New Roman is an outdated font, so I would encourage you to use something more timely.

Either get your résumé professionally done, which will ensure that you are positioned correctly, and all your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed. Alternatively, there are many templates available online where you can populate your information into an existing format. This will help you stay on track and generate a document that is consistent and pleasing to look at.

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