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Your resume is often your first chance to make a positive impression on a potential employer. You don’t want to ruin this opportunity with a document that is full of errors, has a lot of words but doesn’t really say anything, or fails to show why you’re a strong candidate for the role. What you submit should be a strong representation of who you are and what you have to offer.

In crafting your resume, there is a lot of room for error, which means you have to be even more vigilant about your proofreading. Spelling mistakes are not the only red flags you want to be on the lookout for:

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  • Careless Errors: Spelling and grammar mistakes are definitely areas you want to pay attention to, but don’t forget to look for other errors too. This may include transposing two numbers in your phone number, starting every bullet point with an action verb except one, using the wrong word (‘manger’ vs. ‘manager’), or forgetting to take out placeholders you mean to go back and fill in.
  • Quantity over Quality: Don’t include more information just to take up space. Many people get caught up including a laundry list of responsibilities when really they should be focusing on accomplishments and results. Create bullet points that are action- or results-oriented and demonstrate how you made a difference. This is what helps set you apart.
  • Too Busy: Your resume should be well-formatted and easy to read. Cluttering things up with graphs, charts, columns, colors, multiple fonts, and different font sizes can be a distraction. A hiring manager may skip over it because they’re not even sure where to start looking.
  • Too Vague: In an effort to keep your resume short and sweet, don’t end up cutting too many details. If you’re leaving off key information or metrics that support your candidacy, it’s harder for an employer to get a solid first impression. It’s okay to go on to a second (or possibly third) page as long as you’re providing quality information that serves as clear purpose.
  • Wrong Keywords: Many employers use ATS which scan resumes for specific keywords related to the job opening. Tailor your resume to each position you’re applying for to make sure you have the right keywords in place. For instance, if the description asks for “customer relations” experience and you put “customer service” as a keyword, it might not be recognized. Try to use the same wording as the employer for a stronger match.

A great way to help weed out errors is to have someone else (or a few people) review your resume. After reading it multiple times, you know what it should say, so it can be easy to overlook mistakes. A fresh set of eyes can catch inconsistencies and point out areas that may not make sense.



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