I can never say it enough: Proofread, proofread, proofread before sending application materials to a hiring manager.
You'll get no credit for all the hard work you invested when crafting your resume and cover letter if the employer spots errors. A single typo can be enough for that person to question your attention to detail.
Slowly read each document on screen and on paper. Also read your resume and cover letter aloud; your ear will sometimes catch mistakes your eyes miss. Asking a friend for feedback on the final drafts is an added safety measure.
The following examples demonstrate how sloppy (and easily avoidable) mistakes can damage your chances of landing an interview:
"JOB DUTIES: Cashier: Help ding up people."
That doesn't sound like great customer service.
"OBJECTIVE: I need a possible as soon as possible."
It's possible you overlooked something.
RESUME: "References provided upon thank you."
An applicant who yearns for appreciation.
"QUALIFICATIONS: Strong work ethics."
Are there two of you?
COVER LETTER: "You need to be carefulll about who you hire."
Missing words can also prove problematic, and spell-check programs don't always catch these errors.
"OBJECTIVE: Looking for a full-time job in the field."
Have you considered the agricultural industry?
RESUME: "I feel confident I can this position."
You can what?
Finally, remember to check for all types of typos. Numbers, not words, gave these last two job candidates trouble:
"ACCOMPLISHMENTS: In high school, I scored 40 out of 5 points on my Advanced Placement English aptitude test."
How were your math scores?
"EXPERIENCE: More than five (10) years' experience in sales and customer support."
Something about this claim doesn't add up.
(Max Messmer is CEO of Robert Half International, a specialized staffing firm. Send examples to Resumania, c/o Robert Half International, 2884 Sand Hill Road, Suite 200, Menlo Park, Calif. 94025. Or, visit www.resumania.com.)
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