5 Tips for a flawless resume
A spelling error on your resume can hurt your chances of landing the job of your dreams. You’ve worked too hard to let a missing word stop you now. Follow these five tips and build a flawless resume.
1. Buy a style guide and read it
Today we are all writers and editors so we all need the right tools on hand to get the job done. Style guides are your writing bibles, the closer you follow their rules the nearer to perfection your resume will be. In Canada, if you were to purchase only two such resources these are the two you should buy.
1. Caps and Spelling the Canadian Press: This book is a guide on what words to capitalize, what not to and how to spell words in Canadian English; think labour, favourite and traveller.
2. The Canadian Press Stylebook, A Guide for Writers and Editors: Caps and Spelling you can fit in your back pocket – while The Canadian Press Stylebook would fit better in a nightstand. It contains all of the language rules that govern the media and insights into fact-checking and research that will benefit you no matter what your career is.
2. Have someone review your resume
The best eyes to look over your resume aren’t yours; while this is true of all writing when a job is on the line it is a must. A reader will catch more inconsistencies, misspellings and awkward syntax than you will.
We don’t read our own words the same as we read the writing of others’. It isn’t that you aren’t a strong editor; it is that your brain fills in missing words, skips over misspelled words and understands your textual mannerisms too well - it doesn't need proper grammar to makes sense of what your wrote but other peoples' brains will.
3. Fact-check all names, places and things
There is nothing worse than spelling your own name, a company’s name or a city’s name wrong. If you include a proper noun (a noun that in its primary use refers to a unique entity) verify that it is correct.
Do this in emails with your interviewer, on your cover letters or in Linkedin messages. Using Google to verify the spelling of places or a business’s name takes a few seconds – spelling Xerox with a Z instead of an X, lasts a lifetime.
4. Avoid adverbs
Positively avoid including these clunky, undescriptive words. Instead of describing how you did something, spend time describing what you accomplished.
If it ends in LY, delete it and rethink how you describe yourself. Replace the adverb with actual results or write what you learned while in a role, or on a project.
With an adverb: I expertly deployed an integrated marketing campaign.
Without an adverb: With my team we executed an integrated marketing campaign that resulted in a 33 per cent increase in foot traffic, which generated $24,000 in new business in the month of June.
Which one has more value to an interviewer or an employer?
5. Re-read the job description
Resumes are not a one size fits all solution. Unless you are applying to roles with identical job descriptions you should be making modifications to your resume before sending it out. A Marketing Coordinator isn’t the same thing as a Marketing Manager. While you might have the prerequisite job experience for both, if you fail to highlight the right experience and use the right phrases in your resume you will be overlooked.