As a HR professional who owned a resume writing service for over a decade, let me reassure you that it’s easy to make resume mistakes. Whether new professional or experienced job seeker, none of us are beyond making a mistake. I focus on resume mistakes new grads make because they are usually easy to fix and there are so many free opportunities to get help. Everyone is willing to help a new grad. Very soon that new grad excuse will lose it’s charm and it will get more difficult to get free help to fix resume mistakes. So jump on it.
What is THE biggest resume mistake? Typos, grammar and spelling errors!
Everyone is expected to make resume mistakes like typos and errors – in the first draft at least. Despite your best effort, ever so often one or two typos, grammar or spelling errors will slip through. Don’t panic. Recruiters can tell a simple typo on a resume and won’t necessarily hold it against you. For example typing “manger” vs. typing “manager” won’t necessarily cost you the interview, if that is just one resume mistake on an otherwise sparkling resume. However, if it’s only one of many resume mistakes your resume will probably end up in the “TOSS” pile.
How to get help and fix resume mistakes
- Turn on the spell check and grammar check in your writing software. No brainer!
- Read, proof read and read again. Then read from the end of the resume backwards so you look at every word separately.
- Ask professionals like a HR manager or recruiter to proof read your resume. Since they read hundreds of resumes weekly, they are pretty good at spotting resume mistakes quickly.
- Ask for help in your college career center. Since 97% of HBCU career centers serve alumni, you can still contact them after graduation.
- Copy a resume template or a resume sample layout you like. This way you’ll spend more time on the content rather than obsessing about look.
- Many professional resume writers offer free resume critique before taking on new clients. Sometimes that’s all the feedback you will need.
- Ask employers visiting your college campus for career fairs, on-campus hiring, information sessions, workshops or mock interviews. This is a good, safe, non-judgemental way to get an employer to help you fix resume mistakes.
- Large job fairs bring together hundreds of employers and job seekers. Do not be shy about asking a job fair recruiter to give you resume feedback. Some job fairs have this as an added feature. They will point out resume mistakes on the spot. This is really important, especially if they recruit for an industry in which you are interested.
- Employment agencies and staffing firms have a vested interest in helping you clean up resume mistakes. They market you to hiring firms so they want you to have a error-free resume.
- You should already be a member of a professional association. Ask a senior member in the organization to help you proof read your resume.
Use our checklist and take our 60-Minute Resume Challenge to audit your resume with this list of 50 Resume Writing Tips.
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