Why Resume Mistakes Make a Difference
I reviewed twenty-seven resumes this week—not many. But the frustration level was high because nineteen of them had mistakes—and yes—mistakes matter.
Some were minor:
• Lead instead of led. • Compound adjectives used improperly. • Semicolons used when they should have used a comma. • A couple of misspellings, and a few typos. • Quite a few capitalization mistakes.
Aside from the actual mistakes there were also a lot of resumes with poor formatting and some with sections that should have been left off—like hobbies and objectives.
I’m not out to bash people for their grammar. I don’t care a bit about how many mistakes or typos might be in the email you sent your buddy, or the text to your spouse. But I do care about resumes and cover letters. They are the tools that will help you get the job you want, and you can’t afford mistakes.
Think about it this way.
Imagine you’re sorting through an old photo album trying to find a couple of pictures to use for a surprise birthday party. You want them to be just right, so you’re taking your time with each one. Anything fuzzy, blurry, or with heads chopped off, gets tossed right away. If the picture is clear and the image is close to what you want, you set it in a pile to the side—a to-be-reviewed pile. You keep going like this for hours, with the “no” pile getting bigger, and the maybe pile accumulating a few more pics—and then—out of nowhere comes the perfect picture. The image is clear, no smudges, great expression, perfect smile. You’ve got it!
Why Mistakes Matter
That’s the danger of mistakes on your resume. They might not earn you a dunk in the trash can, but while your resume is waiting in the to-be-reviewed pile, you stand the chance of the gatekeeper finding the perfect resume. Once that happens, you’re history.
Mistakes, for the most part, are inexcusable. I’ve spent 30 years in the recruiting business, and seeing resumes and cover letters riddled with mistakes and poor grammar is what drove me to write my No Mistakes Careers books, hoping to shed light on some of the problems. It’s amazing what percentage of resumes contain mistakes, and even more amazing how many of the people don’t seem to care.
Do yourself a favor. Don’t be one of those people.