By MAX MESSMER
Scripps Howard News Service
Before submitting your resume and cover letter, don't forget to proofread them. Better yet, ask a friend to review them for you as well. Just one or two typos can harm your chances of landing an interview. Busy hiring managers who are inundated with resumes from job hopefuls are looking for any reason to narrow the list. Don't let a simple mistake on your resume take you out of the running. Your application materials should illustrate not only how well your qualifications match the job requirements but also your attention to detail. A typo can call both into question.
Here are some embarrassing examples from real-life resumes:
"REASON FOR LEAVING: They always made me the escaped goat."
"POSITION: Warehouse personal."
Why so secretive?
"SKILLS: I have an extensive sales back group."
Are they a package deal?
"RESPONSIBILITIES: Death with difficult customers."
Whatever happened to "the customer is always right"?
Because e-mail and text messaging are ubiquitous, job seekers may be tempted to ignore grammatical rules when corresponding with prospective employers. Don't! This is one area of business where employers still stand on formality, so always use proper punctuation and capitalization. Here is an example of what not to do:
COVER LETTER: "Hi i have always wanted to be an editor and decided the best way to break into the field is by starting as an assistant i would very much appreciate the opportunity thank you and i hope to hear from you soon."
A few well-placed periods would have worked wonders.
Mistakes can happen when applicants use unfamiliar words in the wrong context.
"EDUCATION: I have transcended this education to work in other fields."
Gives new meaning to higher learning.
Also make sure that every statement in your resume and cover letter is clearly worded and that your points are easily understood. The last thing you want to do is confuse a potential employer.
"DUTIES: Retrieved waitresses when lost."
Did that happen often?
For more Resumania, and to submit samples you've come across, visit www.resumania.com. Keep the Resumania coming. Examples can be sent to Resumania, c/o Robert Half International, 2884 Sand Hill Road, Suite 200, Menlo Park, Calif., 94025, or faxed to (650) 234-6998.
Max Messmer is chairman and CEO of Robert Half International, a specialized staffing firm, and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies(r) and Job Hunting For Dummies(r), 2nd Edition. His most recent book is Human Resources Kit For Dummies(r), 2nd Edition.
Copyright (c) 2009 Scripps Howard News Service
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