Spelling and grammar. Spelling and grammatical errors look terrible on a resume and since it’s so easy to run a spell check, there’s really no excuse for them. Even if you’ve proofread it yourself and you’re an amazing speller, run the check!
Employer specific. It is important that you customize your resume and cover letter to the specific employer for the specific position. You want to show them that your skills and experience will allow you to meet their needs and that you are a good fit for both the job and the organization. Most importantly, if you are re-purposing your resume and cover letter, you need to remove any previous customization so you’re not submitting an application with another employer’s name on it.
Up to date. The easiest way to keep your resume current is to update it as you gain new skills and experience. Before sending your resume, take a quick look at your most recent position to ensure that everything is still accurate. In particular, make sure that you add in any new certifications and skills that you may have attained and that you don’t have ‘present’ listed for a position that you have already left.
Overall appearance. Once you are done proofreading the content, take a quick look at the appearance and layout of your resume. Are your headings and formatting consistent? Is it attractive and professionally laid out? Since you only have a few seconds to catch the employer’s attention, appearance counts!
When you’ve spent too much time looking at a document, it becomes more difficult for you to identify problems within it. You may find yourself overlooking glaring errors that you definitely should have caught. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have someone else look at your resume and cover letter. You want to be judged based on how qualified you are for the position, not on a silly spelling mistake.
(Written by: Karen Bivand)