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Resume Errors Can Cost You Your Dream Job
Spelling mistakes send your resume to the "No" pile
Everyone makes mistakes, but certain aspects of life really should be faultless. Your resume is your best chance to present yourself in writing as the ideal candidate for a job, so scrutinize it for accuracy before sending it in. Spelling and grammar are important indicators of a candidate's attention to detail; they highlight defects rather than spotlighting qualities. It is nearly impossible to recover from spelling errors on your resume.
A recent survey by staffing agency Accountemps found that 64 percent of the managers polled responded negatively to spelling errors on resumes. In the 2014 survey, 17 percent of managers said that a single spelling mistake would rule out a candidate. Further, a study conducted by the jobs site CareerBuilder in 2013 found that 58 percent of resumes contained spelling mistakes. Against such odds, you must be certain that your resume is flawless. The good news is, once you confirm your resume's accuracy, you can be sure to have a leg up on candidates who did not take the time to proofread their own resumes.
Given the importance of the resume, it seems obvious that it should be perfect. If a better candidate submits a resume with mistakes, the errors may rule her out and push your perfect application to the top of the pile. Errors fall into two categories—those made because you don't know the proper spelling, and those that result from flawed typing. The fact that nearly everyone is blind to mistakes in their own work explains why 58 percent of resumes are faulty.
HR experts are divided on the best strategy for dealing with spelling mistakes on resumes. Some suggest that, if you notice a mistake after submitting your resume, it is best to simply sit tight and hope the hirer doesn't notice. Others advise sending in an updated resume and asking the hirer to consider the latest version when processing the job application. However, if you didn’t see those mistakes before sending it, the chances of your spotting them later are slim.
Most people keep a standard resume on file and update it when their information changes, which means that resumes with unnoticed mistakes get sent out again and again. Those spelling mistakes will thus not only cost you your dream job, they will lose you all the jobs for which you apply.
You probably don't realize that your resume contains spelling and grammatical errors. Even if you are certain that there are no mistakes on your resume, you should check it for errors anyway. If you wrote up your resume using a word processing package, such as Microsoft Word, use the program's spellchecker. Scan through the document on your computer, and look for any red lines that the program has squiggled under the text to highlight mistakes. Spellcheckers, however, are not the be-all and end-all of proofreading, so don't stop there.
A common proofreading tip is to print out the document and read through the hard copy. Professional proofreaders find it easier to spot mistakes in physical copies. Get a ruler and place it under the first line of the resume. This enables you to concentrate on just one line of text. Once you are certain that everything in that line is correct, move the ruler down to reveal the next line and check that line thoroughly. Keep edging the ruler down the page until you have scrutinized each and every line.
When you are certain that you have eliminated all spelling mistakes on your resume, print a fresh copy and have someone else check it. Choose the person from your circle of acquaintances who displays the best written English skills. That person will be able to spot errors in grammar and punctuation that you may not even know exist.
It makes sense to have a more literate person point out the mistakes on your resume if you don't know the proper spelling of certain words or if you lack a strong grasp of grammar. However, you may not have anyone in your social circle with better English skills than your own. Given the importance of your resume, it is a good idea to spend a little and send it to a professional resume editing service, such as the one offered by Scribendi.com.
Your resume will get you your dream job, but only if it is flawless. Don't risk losing out due to silly mistakes. Have your resume checked.