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A Good Resume & A Good Job---You Only Get One Chance To Get It Right!

Updated on August 5, 2012

Is Your Resume Helping or Hurting You?

Recently I advertised, on some local online employment sites, for a Bookkeeper. Within a week I received 20 resumes. Upon reviewing those resumes I was very disappointed to discover that 12 of them had at least one spelling error and 3 of them had multiple spelling errors. I can tell you that, as an employer looking at multiple resumes, the first thing I do is to quickly categorize them. I weed out the unsuitable first. I don't have time to spend hours reading resumes. You need to be sure that yours is easy to read and is structured properly so the information you are presenting can be easily and quickly followed.

Unfortunately, for some, their resumes do stand out but for the wrong reasons. Many qualified people lose out on the chance for an interview because of a poor resume. The number one "mistake" is spelling. I do not waste my time reviewing a resume that starts out with spelling errors. Incredible as it may sound in two of the resumes, I received, the applicants had misspelled the name of their own hometown.

One of the most important things you can do, when sending out your resume, is proof read and spell check before you send it. You want a potential employer to evaluate you on your employment and education history which , you hope, will lead to a interview. If you are too lazy or indifferent to even check the spelling on your resume it will be quickly discarded and the opportunity will be lost because of your own carelessness.

As an employer I may be impressed with your education and professional history but that "first" impression will be lost if you cannot be bothered to spell check. A resume is your opportunity to introduce yourself to a prospective employer. It is your only chance at a "first impression". If you lose the opportunity because of you couldn't be bothered to spell check then you will, almost certainly, lose any chance for an interview. What runs through my mind when I see these kind of resumes is "if this person is indifferent about how they, through their resume,represent themselves to me how can I be confident about how they will represent the company to our customers"!

Your resume does not have to be a "professional" one. You do not have to spend large amounts of money getting someone else to tell your story. Keep it simple and to the point. I want to know about you, your education, and your experience. Many of the personal things will come up in the interview. You do not have to fill several pages telling me your life's story from birth to the present. I only want the facts about you and if you qualify for the position.....that's it!!!. You will be given the opportunity to fill in the details during the interview process.

Your education and work history sections should be complete and easily understood. I need to know if you qualify for the job.... so tell me! In your work history detail the positions you have held previously. That information will allow me to quickly assess your experience and whether it will "fit" with our requirements. Just a little hint....don't overstate your qualifications and experience. We will find out through back ground checks or by observing your performance, on the job. You can't hide incompetency. You may fool your way in but the "truth" will become apparent very quickly and an abrupt ending to your new career could be your reward.

In today's job market the competition is fierce. There are many applicants for every job available. In my case I received 20 resumes for one position but I have heard of situations where posted jobs receive "hundreds" of applicants. It is important to remember that the interview is still the "key". Your performance at the interview will be the determining factor in being offered the position but you have to get to the interview first!. Don't blow your chances by sending out a lousy resume.

If you are truly qualified for a position that you are interested in and you send in a good resume and cover letter you will, most likely, get an interview. Employers are always looking for "good" employees even in a recession. The search for quality people never ends for most companies and if you can "fill" their needs win!!!.

Make it your goal to proof read and spell check every resume you send out. It's also not a bad idea to get into the habit of having spell check turned on at all times but remember you have to use it. Give yourself the chance to get to the interview.

You may be the best qualified, best educated and , in your mind, the best fit for that dream job you've been looking for. If you truly believe that to be the case then go for it. Send in that resume and don't forget to follow up if you don't hear anything within ten days or so. Keep yourself ready and prepared for the interview. When the call comes remember they chose you using the information from your resume. They obviously believe you are a good potential candidate for the position. On the sole basis of your resume you have given yourself a chance to get that job. Never underestimate the power of a do so at your own risk!


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    • point2make profile image

      point2make 5 years ago

      That is exactly true Deborah....So many opportunities are lost because of a simple oversight, in your resume, like....spelling! Thanks for the comments Deborah I appreciate them.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      Excellent advice and a good reminder on the importance of proofreading a resume. With dozens or even hundreds of resumes received for every opening, employers are looking for an easy way to eliminate applicants from contention. A sloppy resume is a great excuse to send someone to the flush pile.

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 5 years ago

      Thanks for the comments alocsin. Interesting about the red circles. I know of a company who would circle any spelling or grammatical errors they found, on a resume, with a red marker and send the it back to its owner. Talk about getting your point across!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      If you're working in a writing profession, it's doubly important to doublecheck your resume. When I was a tech writer at a computer company, we'd circle in red any errors we found on writer resumes. In contrast, we'd let those errors slide for programming jobs. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 5 years ago

      Thanks drmiddlebrook . I appreciate your interest and I am looking forward to reading more of your hubs.

      You are right it certainly can be a daunting task "weeding out" resumes and reviewing potential employees. In today's economy it is so important , for job seekers, to read what they are sending out to represent themselves to a potential employer. Make your cover letter and resume truly representative of your skill sets and education and please.......spellcheck!!!

    • drmiddlebrook profile image

      Sallie B Middlebrook PhD 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      Great article. I helped to bring in and interview new applicants for positions in my department at the last place where I worked, full-time, and we always got hundreds of resumes for every position. I'd review 20-to-30, narrow those down to five or six, then we'd bring in two or three people to interview. And you're right, you have to weed out early on, and spelling and grammar are always good "weeding-out" measures. Great to hear these tips from an employer.

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      Thanks for the comments lindylane. Your opinion is appreciated. It certainly seems, to me, that the common sense approach and the obvious are the two areas where most of the mistakes are made. Proofreading should be a no brainer when doing a resume....but in reality, for a lot of people, it is not.

    • lindylane profile image

      lindylane 6 years ago from Madison, WI

      Excellent tips! I found my way to this hub after your comment on mine. Some of this seems like it would be common sense--but obviously that's not always the case! Thanks for bringing us back to basics. Job seekers can definitely improve their odds just by doing a quick proofread. Voted up!

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      Thank-you katyzzz your opinion is appreciated.

    • katyzzz profile image

      katyzzz 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Good advice and obviously what a lot of people need

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      Thank-you for commenting on my hub angela....I appreciate it. If I could only reach those who do not realize how important spelling is when trying to make a first impression. If they only knew how many opportunities have been lost because a single word was misspelled on their resume. Your resume is an extension of you, and who you are, to a potential employer. Give it the attention it deserves and.....don't take shortcuts!!!

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 6 years ago from United States

      This is a very informative helpful hub. It's good hearing the advice from someone who has to actually read these resumes. I find it surprising how many people within business will send out things with spelling mistakes. I've even had teachers send home notes with spelling mistakes. That gives a parent a very bad feeling. :)

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      Thank-you for your comments teaches I appreciate them. That first impression is so important. You cannot over stress that point.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 6 years ago

      A good resume will help you get in the door and hopefully, a job. Your hub is a great aid in compiling a winning resume. I agree that you must make sure it is proofed before sending it out, one little misspelling can ruin it all for you. Great hub and well covered. Voted up.

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      Thanks Marwan I appreciate your opinion. First impressions are so important. I really wish I could convey that to the younger generation...but I'll keep trying.

    • marwan asmar profile image

      Marwan Asmar 6 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      Nice one Terry and very true. As you say it is the first impression that counts and if you lose it, well then you lost a valuable opportunity.

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      Thank-you Lady E for your comments. I appreciate your words. I cannot stress enough, to everyone, the importance of that "first impression" and how you only get one chance at it.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 6 years ago from London, UK

      Very useful read - People only get one shot and it's important not just to have a good resume, but to have one that stands out.


    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      Thanks for the tip Brett. $5 sound like a great deal. A good resume doesn't have to break the bank.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 6 years ago from Thailand

      Hi point to make.

      Thank you for your comments on my travel series, much appreciated!

      I know that I have already commented, but I just wanted to pass on a tip. On, one of their top users is proofing and editing resumes for $5 ... and apparently he is really good. It is worth getting your Resume tweaked, especially if you want to get the latest style/format.

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      Thank you for your comments Stephanie. I appreciate them and you for taking the time to visit my hub. thanks again.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

      Your advice about spell checking your resume is excellent! No matter what your qualifications say about you, careless mistakes in a resume or cover letter will send a negative message that could mean losing the chance at an interview.

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      Thanks for the comments pinoyortiz. I appreciate your opinion of my hub.

    • pinoyortiz profile image

      pinoyortiz 6 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

      I like how you make your points so interesting haha! This is certainly a point of view I need to consider.

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      Thank you for your comments shesacraftymom. I appreciate them very much. I glad you liked the hub. If it helps you in anyway I think that would be great!

    • shesacraftymom profile image

      shesacraftymom 6 years ago

      I agree with this. Proof reading is key. I am most definitely going to take your advice, too! Thanks!

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      Good catch cherylynn617 even spell check cannot replace a good old fashion proof read. Well done!

    • profile image

      cherylynn617 6 years ago

      I noticed the following error in the first paragraph of your article, as follows: "I can tell you that, as an employer looking at multiple resumes, the first thing I do is to quickly categorized them." I believe you wanted to say "categorize."? As a job-seeker, however, I was most interested in the content of your article, for which I thank you.

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      Thank-you for the kind words cjv I appreciate them. I really wanted to help people understand just how important their resume is. It is not just about sending out as many resumes as you can. This is a case where quality trumps quantity.

    • cjv123 profile image

      Carol 6 years ago from Michigan

      This is absolutely valuable and needed advice especially given the times. When I hit "Post Comment" this is going to go up on my Twitter and FB account. Voted up!

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      Thank-you make some excellent points. A cover letter can make a huge difference. I appreciate your comments..thanks again.

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      Thank-you carrie your comments are appreciated.


    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 6 years ago from Thailand

      Voted up and useful.

      You offer some excellent advice, especially regarding targeting your resume. I have a couple of resumes targeting specific employment fields. However, I will often edit a resume for a specific job, especially if I am particularly interested in the position.

      I would also say that the same advice goes for cover letters/emails! They are often read first and can make the difference between being considered or being DELETED.

      Hope your hub lands a few hubbers their dream job.

    • carriethomson profile image

      carriethomson 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      thats a very useful hub!! will definately keep in mind

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      Thank you for your comments kerlynb I do appreciate them. I'm glad you liked the hub and I hope your new employment venture is successful.

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      Bookmarking this hub. I'll apply for a new job overseas by middle of next year and I need all the pieces of good advice I can get about resumes, interviews, and job applications. Thanks so much for this hub. Really appreciate it.


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