Quick quiz: What do the following statements have in common?
- “Off last year due to maturity leave.”
- “Graduated with a degree in unclear physics.”
- “Education: College, August 1880 - May 1984.”
- “Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain.”
- “I have a keen eye for derail.”
- “Thank you for reviewing my application. I hope to hear from you, shorty.”
Each of these statements -- all of which appeared in actual resumés -- includes an amusing typo that would have evaded detection by spellchecking software. Collectively, they illustrate the importance of having your resumé proofread by human eyes (preferably several sets!) to weed out errors that can sabotage your chances of landing the job.
When I preach about the importance of making a technically-perfect resumé, I sometimes sense members of my audience groaning inwardly. “Come on,” I can see them thinking: “It can’t be that big a deal. Writing doesn’t even matter that much to the job I want… surely they won’t care as long as they know what I meant!”
It’s true that some won’t, but many more will. And if you get one of these “nit-pickers” reviewing the application you’ve submitted for your ideal job, you’ll grasp why resumés need to be error-free every time. If nothing else, it’s a matter of hedging your bets.
Consider the employer’s point of view. You’re a businessperson at the end of a long, long week with a stack of 63 resumés that needs culling in the last hour before you head home. You’ve already slogged through half of the pile when you find a resumé containing several spelling and grammatical errors.
Assuming you’ve never met the applicant in person (which is frequently true), you have nothing to judge them by except these printed words -- words which are telling you they didn’t take the time to proofread their submission. And if you can’t be bothered to ensure your application is presentable, readable and relevant, what assurance do they have that you’ll meet their professional standards once hired? It’s far easier to simply move on to the next resumé in the pile, consigning your shot at the job to the recycle bin.
Rejecting resumés because of “little” mistakes isn’t being nit-picky. It’s a statement about the standards an employer demands of prospective employees. It may seem harsh, but it’s a reality of today’s job market… and one you’d do well to observe if you’re serious about finding a job. Take advantage of the many resources available to help with preparing a polished resumé, beginning with the A.V. Employment Centre (on Mar Street behind the old Zellers building). A couple of hours is more than worth the investment if it gives you that vital edge on your competition.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.” (William Shakespeare, English playwright, 1564? – 1616)