Believe it or not, almost nobody enjoys writing a resume. And if you are customizing your resume for every single job that you are applying for (which you should), it can be easy to overlook a simple mistake.
Even the tiniest of mistakes can leave a lasting impression on a hiring manager, and unfortunately, cost you a job interview. So, how do you prevent yourself from making silly mistakes on your resume? Ask yourself these four questions before you submit your resume to a job vacancy.
Is it free of grammatical errors?
Obviously, everyone knows that it’s important to ensure your resume is free of typos and grammatical errors. However, it’s nearly impossible to eliminate your biases and catch your own mistakes. Even professional writers use editors to review their work!
Ask a friend or family member to take a few minutes to go over your resume. Even if they don’t catch a grammatical error, they may offer other suggestions to help improve a certain bullet point or statement to kick it up a notch.
After you have someone review your resume, print it out and read it out loud. You’d be surprised at how many typos or funky wording you’ll catch when reading your resume out loud to yourself.
Should I add my address to my resume?
Even in the year 2018, many candidates still include their address on their resumes. However, it is perfectly acceptable to leave it off our resume.
If the job you are applying for is out of town, we recommend leaving your address off. An employer may or may not offer relocation, yet oftentimes, local candidates can take precedent. By forgoing your location on your resume, you eliminate any local biases and you’re judged on your qualifications and experiences alone!
Besides, people no longer communicate via snail mail when applying to or responding to job applications. It’s the 21st Century. Everyone communicates via email or using a smartphone, so it’s no longer essential to include your address on your resume. We are all connected and if your address is needed later in the recruiting process, it can easily be sent to the appropriate hiring manager in seconds.
Is it in a professional format?
Nothing is a bigger turnoff to recruiters than a poorly formatted resume. Whether it’s the use of an unusual font or inconsistent margins, formatting mistakes generate the impression that you are not a very detail-oriented person. This may seem obvious, but it’s crazy how many resumes we’ve seen with silly formatting issues that ruin the appearance of the resume.
More often than not, formatting issues are caused by sending your resume in an improper file format. When submitting your resume to an Application Tracking System (ATS) or emailing it to a recruiter, the formatting may get messed up. Margins can look funky or fonts may look different on another device. To avoid these issues, you must submit it as a PDF to ensure recruiters see your resume the way it was meant to appear.
Is my resume written in the proper verb tense?
This is one of the biggest mistakes we see when candidates submit their resumes. Except when discussing your current position, resumes should be written in the past tense. We often see the wrong tense being used when using action verbs at the beginning of each bullet point.
For example, for an old position on your resume, you should say “Develop marketing plans to…” instead of “Developed marketing plans to…” Not only is this issue an easy fix for you to make, it is also obvious for recruiters to notice. Make sure you doublecheck it for proper verb tense before you send it off to a recruiter!
Having trouble choosing the right verb tense? Here is a helpful guide to get you started.