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Resource: Featured Articles
How to Avoid Crippling Your Own Resume
Friday, December 07, 2012

Posted by: Alison Greenland, Freelance Blogger

Those red and green squiggly lines. You know what I'm talking about, the spell and grammar checkers in your Word document.

Be honest, your first draft of something probably resembles Christmas lights more than it does a professional document. While that's typical of a first drafts, when you've gotten to your third edit and it's still riddled with those Christmas colors, your resume will look just as tacky as having your lights up after the holidays.

When applying for a job your resume is meant to respresent you in the most appealing light. Grammatical errors and typos can make a major negative impact on your chances of landing an interview. Even the most qualified candidate will be passed over for someone with a well-composed resume.

Employers are always looking out for candidates that clearly demonstrate their attention to detail. Flawed writing doesn't reflect professionalism well for a company so hiring managers don't overlook them in resumes. Avoid having yours reflect badly on yourself by being extra meticulous with these three things:

1) Spell check, please!
Common mistakes like accidentally inverting a letter can be hard to detect when you've been typing and reading for a while. Your eyes will tend to skim rather than carefully read so the spell check feature will help pick these errors out. It's important to give your eyes a break before your final resume read to pick out grammatical and contextual mistakes with fresh eyes.

2) Formidable formatting
The way your resume is formatted also effects how it's read. Formatting isn't hard to do, but improperly doing so is easy. No hiring manager is going to take a second look at trying to decipher an unorganized resume. Avoid blocks of text or going from numbers to bullet points. Make things easy to see. Formatting ideas can be found through a variety of online resources so find one that best suits you and your industry.

3) Understand me, can you?
As a jedi master, Yoda probably didn't have to worry about grammar or resumes. For the rest of us on the other hand, making clear sense is a must if we want to find a job. When in doubt about whether something is grammatically correct, there is a fool-proof test to check if it is: does it makes sense? If your writing doesn't even make sense to you, it obviously won't for anyone else. Expand your vocabulary with a thesaurus so as not to sound repetitive. Always, always read your resume aloud.

Candidates are books judged by their cover letters and resumes. A resume is you on paper, so how do you look?  In the same way that you spend time in front of a mirror making yourself presentable, your should be doing the same with your resume. A clean resume will clear the way for you to get a noticed by a hiring manager. Don't mess up your chances with a messy resume.
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