Sometimes I just don’t understand what candidates do or don’t do. This is frustrating because so many times I’ve heard from candidates, “I already know that.” The problem is that candidates think they know it, but in reality either don’t know it or just don’t do it.
Let’s take the example of resumes. Not necessarily my favorite topic, but one that is important. I often review resumes for candidates and I do this strictly from a recruiter’s perspective. Most of the resumes I review are for senior-level executives, many with graduate degrees. I am so often amazed that these senior-level executives expect to be hired, especially in this economy, when they can’t even put together a resume without errors. Why in the world would a CEO or president expect them to put together a board presentation? The CEO or president would be completely embarrassed.
The following are some common mistakes that I see on a fairly regular basis. I know you don’t need to read these, because these would never happen to you, so consider reading them for all of the other people that need help.
1) Spelling errors. I’m not referring to the obvious ones that a spell checker picks up. I mean the ones a spell checker doesn’t pick up and require proofreading by someone else. Words such as grow not grown, its or it’s, to or too, you’re instead of your, using the instead of that, using and instead of or, and finally, a lot is two words.
2) Grammar, punctuation or formatting errors. Common problems are overuse of commas, no periods at the end of sentences, capitalizing some words and not others, capitalizing too many words, inconsistent format, phrases that just end, mixing plural verbs with a singular subject, and punctuation marks should go inside quotes and outside parentheses.
3) Incorrect use of words. Neither and nor, either and or, accept and except, lose and loose, a and an, are some mistakes I commonly find.
As a recruiter, I would be embarrassed to present these resumes to a client. What does this say about the executive if they can’t put together a resume without common errors? Don’t they have these proofed? What kind of presentation would they make, what would their reports look like, and how many errors would be in a white paper? One has to ask themselves these questions when reviewing a resume with these types of errors.
I am by no means an English major, and I sure have made many mistakes writing articles. I know this because people seem to get pleasure out of pointing out my mistakes. I have learned a lot from these comments. However, a blog article is not a resume. There is a big difference in the two. If I were submitting this article to Fortune or the WSJ, I would pay to have it professionally edited. Like it or not, a resume has to be perfect. That is the standard. I didn’t set the standard, I just live by it and you should too.
Please help yourself. Take the time to have others proof your resume. Invest in a professional to edit it. Don’t DOUBLE check your resume, TRIPLE check it, and then check it one more time just to be sure.
Remember the golden rule, when in doubt check it out. Here is an excellent site to use to check http://www.grammarbook.com/english_rules.asp
Since all of the people reading this article never make these mistakes, one has to wonder (not wander) why I wrote the article.
One final point, these same principles apply to cover and thank you letters.
I hope this helps all of those other people that make these mistakes.
I welcome your thoughts and comments, even those that will surely point out errors in this article.
If this was helpful to you, please help others by posting it to your LinkedIn groups, Facebook page or Twitter.
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