Résumé Writing Tip – Double Check Your Speling!

Subtitle: How to avoid looking like an unwiped ass!

One of your first chores when you find yourself on the unemployment line is to dig out and dust off that tired old résumé. And if you happen to be ‘net savvy, you’ll likely do some hunting with google for tips on how to make that résumé sing a snappy tune. One of the first ones you’ll find, a tip that’s been around since Jesus still had “carpenter” on his résumé, is to double check your work for spelling and grammar. This holds especially true if on your résumé or cover letter you highlight “written and oral communications” as one of your most prized skills. You’ll lose all credibility if further along you’ve misspelled something or used less than stellar grammar. Even so much as one tiny typo can make the difference between being added to a shortlist and being added to the recycling bin. For instance, here’s a wee typo our Prime Minster’s office made in a recent press release:

PMO Iqaluit bumble draws smiles, frowns

By Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – A bumble by the Prime Minister’s Office has residents of Nunavut alternately chuckling and cringing.

A news release sent out Monday outlined Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s itinerary as he began a five-day Arctic tour.

The release repeatedly spelled the capital of Nunavut as Iqualuit – rather than Iqaluit, which means “many fish” in the Inuktitut language.

The extra “u” makes a big difference.

“It means people with unwiped bums,” said Sandra Inutiq of the office of the Languages Commissioner of Nunavut.

“It’s not exactly a nice term.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

Thankfully for our PM, he already has the job. Here are five tried and true tips for how best to double check your work:

  1. Don’t trust spell check. Sure, it has its place, but it won’t catch everything. For instance, if you misspell “week” with “weak” it won’t show up as incorrect.
  2. Don’t just read it on your monitor. Print off a copy and read it out loud.
  3. Try reading it backwards. This is an old proofreading tip. It forces you to consider each sentence with greater care.
  4. Have a friend or two proofread it for you.
  5. If English is your second language, consider hiring a résumé writing firm to help you cross those “t”s and dot those “i”s.

Here’s the bottom line: Your résumé represents your first contact with a potential employer. Just like you’ll want to dress up in your Sunday best and have your confident smile and firm handshake at the ready for that first interview, you’ll also want your résumé to shine like a freshly waxed ’55 T-Bird on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It’s all about that first impression. Do it right and you might be rewarded with a new job.

P.S. Yes, my typo in the heading was indeed done on purpose. Thanks for noticing. If, by chance, you do happen to notice other typos on my blog, please feel free to point them out (with a sinister snicker).


The Hunt Continues…

Well, it’s been a while since I was laid off and still no work. I’ve been applying for jobs here and there, but I’m not getting any bites. Last week, however, I applied for a sales job with an office furniture company and was quickly called in for an interview. Hurray! After the interview my excitement at the prospect of returning to work diminished somewhat. The job was straight commission, with no benefits and two weeks vacation. Well, straight commish might not be a fair statement, as there was a draw on commission. So, during the slow months you go into debt with the company and when it gets busy your commissions go toward paying back that debt. I have a friend in the industry who tells me office furniture sales are pretty much stagnant. That fact, coupled to no benefits, makes the job somewhat unappealing. After careful consideration over the weekend, I called them on Monday to tell them I’d be going in a different direction. I’m really starting to re-evaluate the idea of getting back into sales. I think something in project management would be a better fit for me. I love problem solving and am very analytical, both important skills in that field.