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Aug 19

The Truth About Grammar & Spelling On Your Résumé

Posted in Career Article, Tips & Tricks at 2:45 pm

 If you read any material or ask anyone in the know about putting together a résumé they politically correct answer is to make sure that there are no grammatical or spelling errors on it.

 While that is true MOST of the time there are a few exceptions to that rule:

 If you are the Michael Jordan of your job-function perfection is not required. In his prime do you think any team in the NBA would have told Michael Jordan, “Well Michael, we would love to have you on our team but we saw a misspelled word in your work history.”

If you have recruiters beating down your door on a daily basis to pitch opportunities to you because everyone knows you are the best in town at what you do then you can stress a little less over the little things on your résumé.

 The more sought after your skill-set the lower the need for perfection. I guarantee that if you are one of five people in the whole US who can do a particular job and do it to perfection (and yes, I think I have worked on some of those before) the fact that you had a comma out-of-place is NOT going to disqualify you.

 If you are brought down from on high and seeing your résumé is just a formality the need for perfection goes out the window. You have done all that you should be doing in your search (networking, networking and more networking) and you hit the jackpot – a CEO thinks you are the guy for an opening within his company.

 He walks you down to HR and tells them that you are the person for the job. Do you think the HR person is going to tell him, “Gee Mr. CEO, I don’t think we can hire this person – he used a double negative.”

 Let me think about that for a second. Umm… NO!

 In closing – if you are headed to the hall of fame for your job-function, have a skill-set that’s in demand and has very few players, or can put yourself in a situation to be brought down from on high you can worry less about the things the rest of us do. For the rest of us, spellcheck will continue to be our best friend.

Aug 19

10 Ways to Get Your Résumé Tossed

Posted in Career Article, Tips & Tricks at 2:42 pm

Writing a résumé isn’t exactly a speedy process. First there’s the brainstorming. Then, you have to write — and rewrite, and rewrite — your educational and work histories until your résumé perfectly boasts your background. Plus, there’s all that proofreading.

Even though your résumé took you hours to write, hiring managers will typically spend less than one minute reviewing it. If your résumé has any glaring errors, however, employers will waste no time deleting it.

To ensure your résumé gets proper attention, avoid these 10 all-too-common blunders:

1. Not bothering with a cover letter. Cover letters are so important to the application process that many hiring managers automatically reject résumés that arrive without them. Make the most of your cover letter by expanding on a few of your qualifications, explaining any gaps in employment or providing other information that will entice the employer to read your résumé.

2. Giving your résumé format a little “flair.”Unusual fonts or fluorescent pink paper will certainly make your résumé stand out — in a bad way. Keep your résumé looking professional by sticking with standard white or cream-colored paper, black type and a common font like Arial or Times New Roman.

3. Going long. Since your high school job scooping ice cream probably isn’t relevant to your career anymore, it shouldn’t be included on your résumé. Your résumé shouldn’t be longer than two pages so only include your most recent and relevant work history.

4. Focusing on duties, not accomplishments. Instead of writing a list of job duties on your résumé, demonstrate how each duty contributed to your company’s bottom line. For example, anyone can plan the company fund-raiser, but if you note that your fund-raiser brought in 50 percent more money than the previous year’s event, the hiring manager will be take notice.

5. Having a selfish objective. Employers are trying to determine whether you’re a good fit for their organizations, so everything on your résumé should point to your experience. A summary of qualifications that conveniently displays your accomplishments and background is far more effective than a generic objective statement (“To gain experience in…”).

6. Being too generic. Always customize your résumé and cover letter for each job and employer to which you apply. This way, you can tailor your materials to show how you will be a perfect fit for the position.

7. Guesstimating your dates and titles. With the proliferation of background checks, any “upgrades” you give your titles or stretching of employment dates to cover gaps will likely get caught — and eliminate you from consideration.

8. Tell everyone why you left. Never put anything negative on your résumé. If you left the position due to a layoff or you were fired, bring it up only if asked.

9. Include lots of personal information. It’s fine if you enjoy fly fishing on Sunday afternoons, but unless your hobby relates to your career, it doesn’t belong on your résumé. The same goes for your height, weight, religious affiliation, sexual orientation or any other facts that could potentially be used against you.

10. Assume spell-check is good enough. Spell-checkers can pick up many typos — but they won’t catch everything (manger vs. manager, for example). Always proofread your résumé several times, and ask a friend to give it a final review.