Resume tip #2: Eliminate grammar and spelling errors

Previous post in series:

Resume tip #1: Use numbers to tell stories about your accomplishments

(I’m going to try to write this post without making any grammar or spelling errors.)

Spelling "grammar" with an "e" is a common error.In most cases, your resume is how you make your first impression on a prospective employer. Hiring managers are hypersensitive to any mistakes, assuming that if you are willing to send a resume out into the world with a typo or two, then you are going to be careless on the job as well. For this reason, your resume needs to be free of mistakes.

With a heavy heart, I must report that every day we see resumes that are not free of mistakes. Indeed, we see resumes that are full of them. Quite often we look at the qualifications of the person and shake our heads, wondering how such a smart, experienced candidate could have written, or failed to write, the CV in question.

One theory we have is that, although most of the candidates whose resumes we receive are not writers or editors, most are highly educated, and thus they may be too proud to get help in writing and checking their resumes. The fact is, however, that it’s difficult to check our own work: if we make a mistake when writing, we often fail to notice the same mistake when checking. Further, part of us simply does not like to find our own errors.

The following tips are fairly basic yet definitely helpful in achieving an error-free resume:

  • Check your own work. Some resumes we see are so full of mistakes that we find it hard to believe that the writer has performed even this basic task.
  • Use your word processor’s spell checker, but don’t trust it too much. For example, the software will find mistakes like “waer” but will most likely be unable to tell the difference between “wear” and “ware.” You need to go over every word.
  • Check it twice. Don’t just write a resume, give it a cursory check, and send it off. Give it another check the next day with fresh eyes.
  • Have a writer/editor friend check it. Personally, even though I have writing experience, I would never write and send out a resume without getting a qualified second opinion. In fact, I would probably get multiple opinions, not only about the resume’s correctness but also its effectiveness overall.

With a little care, you can write a resume that won’t be written off for containing errors!

The Key Corporate Services Blog Team