You’re probably reading this because you have come to a place in your life where you need a resume. Not just any old, run of the mill resume. A piece of paper that gets you noticed and hopefully the career you’ve always wanted. The problem with resumes is that no two are alike and trends seem to change constantly: one page or two pages? Every job you’ve ever had, or the last ten years? The fancy layout or more traditional? At the end of the day, you want the best representation of you. There are a few things though that every resume should have regardless of color or paper texture.
Every hiring manager knows not everyone is perfect, but when it comes to your resume you better be darn close. If you are being hired for a position where editing, writing, or content are incredibly important, spelling errors are not going to be tolerated. Every resume should have a second pair of eyes to find these possible errors prior to applying for any position. One error might be ok, but if they are prevalent throughout your document, the hiring manager isn’t going to be looking at the fact that you worked helping poor children in Africa, they’ll be looking at what mistake they may catch next. With spell check on every possible device out there, there really is no reason to have any spelling mistakes (unless, somehow, you have a typewriter). Take the time to go through your resume and ensure there are no spelling errors and make sure someone else looks it over too.
Grammar & Punctuation
Another important aspect of your resume is grammar. Incomplete sentences are not ok, and the incorrect form of where/wear can be a huge eyesore. Maybe the hiring manager doesn’t mind a few errors if they are looking for their next water rafting guide, but if you are trying to make it in the world of emails and newsletters, good grammar is a must. The same thing goes for punctuation. Commas, periods, and apostrophes should be used properly and if you’re not sure there are certain apps that can help you.
Let’s face it unless a background investigation is being conducted, not everyone is going to know if you’re lying on your resume. You may want to question your morals but we can address that later. Not everything to do with accuracy means you’re lying, but it may raise some red flags. For example, if the hiring manager calls your references and finds out you worked until June instead of October, they may questions why you’d put down the incorrect month. Are you hiding something? There are universities out there with the same name only distinguished by an “of Colorado” at the end of it for example. If they request transcripts from the wrong school, you’re not going to look very good when they don’t have you on file. Sometimes accuracy means everything.
Style and Consistency
Have you ever looked at a professional document that had hard to read font or worse, ten different font styles? Maybe the font size was size 5 and you needed a magnifying glass. These styles aren’t going to earn you any points. A resume that has a consistent style and is visibly appealing, will at least pass the first glance over. Inconsistency in spacing, font, and color will have any resume reader rolling their eyes and tossing your carefully prepared document in the recycling bin. As I mentioned before, a second pair of eyes is always going to help pick these up.
Let’s accept the fact that resumes are a different beast. They can be tedious, and if layouts aren’t your thing, you might need some help to spruce it up. Sometimes hiring someone to do your resume for you can really up your “it” factor, but remember, they need a second pair of eyes too and it would behoove of you to look it over for all of the particular points mentioned above. In the end, it’s you who’s the one trying to get the job. If they incorrectly spell one of your former employers’ names, it’s not really their problem.
Sometimes the itty bitty details are the deciding factor or what gets you a job or does not. If you truly want a job, you have to put in the time and effort to this document or your resume might just be another piece of scratch paper.
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