At first screening, most resumes are given less than a minute to make an impression. If you have errors, it is unlikely that your resume will get a second look. Sometimes, it is the smallest mistakes that send your resume to the recycling bin. Here are some common errors that many job seekers overlook when they are proofreading their resume.
The word is spelled right, but it is the wrong word. For example, “In my position, I had excess to confidential files.” Spell check won’t save you from this blunder. Be sure to have someone else proofread your work.
Dates are not kept current. Your resume says that you were at an organization from “2005 – Present”, but you haven’t worked there for over a year! Keep it up to date.
Objective does not match the job. You are applying to be a maintenance worker, but your resume objective is to be a architect. This error may give the employer serious doubts about your level of commitment to the position.
Cover letter was customized for another job. You have been customizing your resume and cover letter for each position, and you accidentally sent your customized cover letter to the wrong employer. The employer will have to read about how much you admire their competition. Consider yourself very lucky if you get called back after making this error.
Formatting is not consistent. You have Times New Roman font in some sections, and Ariel font in others. Some dates are in bold, while others are underlined. You have a period after a few of the bullet points, but not all of them. When your formatting is inconsistent, it looks sloppy. Clean it up.
Verb tense is not accurate. You haven’t worked for the organization in six months, yet your job duties are in present tense. Or- you’re currently working in the role, and your job duties are in past tense. Make sure that your verb tense is correct.
Some of the information on your resume is unrelated to the position. You are applying for a position in accounting, and you mention your affinity for bird watching. Unrelated information is distracting, and it can count against you.
Your resume is messy. Your resume is wrinkled and stained. Something has been scratched out, or written in. Remember- at this stage, your resume is the only way that the employer can evaluate you. Make sure that it shows you in a good light.
Always have another person look over your resume before you send it, because it is easy to miss errors when you have been staring at the same document for hours. Paying attention to these little details will not get you the job. However, if you ignore them, you could lose the opportunity in a heartbeat.
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