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A Good Resume & A Good Job---You Only Get One Chance To Get It Right!
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 .....you 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 resume.......you do so at your own risk!