Review this list of common resume mistakes to make sure that your resume is well-written and error free.
- Don't use words with which you aren't familiar.
- Use a dictionary as you write.
- Perform a spell check on your finished resume.
- Carefully read every word in your resume. If you write "from" instead of "form," your spell check will be unable to detect your mistake.
- Have a friend or two proofread your resume for you.
- Check for periods at the end of all full sentences.
- Be consistent in your use of punctuation.
- Always put periods and commas within quotation marks (i.e., Won awards including the "John H. Malcom Memorial Service Award.")
- Avoid using exclamation points.
- Do not switch tenses within your resume - be sure they are consistent for each job you list. The duties you currently perform should be in present tense (i.e., write reports), but ones you may have performed at past jobs should be in past tense (i.e., wrote reports).
- Capitalize all proper nouns.
- When expressing numbers, write out all numbers between one and nine (i.e., one, five, seven), but use numerals for all numbers 10 and above (i.e., 10, 25, 108).
- If you begin a sentence with a numeral, spell out that numeral (i.e., Eleven service awards won while employed.).
- Make sure your date formats are consistent (i.e., 11/22/13 or November 22, 2013, or 11.22.13. Choose one and stick with it.).
Choose Your Words Carefully
- Be on the lookout for the following easily confused words: accept (to receive), except (to exclude), all right (correct), alright (this is not a word), affect (to bring about change), effect (result), personal (private), personnel (staff members), role (a character assigned or a function), roll (to revolve).
- Use action words (i.e., wrote reports, increased revenues, directed staff).
Other Potential Mistakes
- Check dates of all prior employment.
- Check your address and phone number - are they still current and correct?
- Check the number of returns separating your categories: are they consistent?
- Check abbreviation of state names. All state abbreviations are two letters - no periods. For example, New York is abbreviated NY, California is CA, and Florida is FL. Look up other state abbreviations.
Design Is Important
- Don't overcrowd your resume; allow for plenty of white space.
- Keep your resume to one page whenever possible.
- Keep the number of fonts you use to a minimum -- two at the most.
- Use a font that is easy to read. Do not justify the lines of type on your resume. Allow the right side of the page to "rag."
- Do not overuse capitalization, italics, underlines, or other emphasizing features.
- Make sure your name, address,phone number and email address appear on your resume and all correspondence, preferably at the top of the page.
- Print your resume on white or cream paper using a good-quality printer. Print on one side of the paper only.
What To Omit
- Omit salary history.
- Omit sex, age, race, marital status, or other similar personal information.
Proofreading Tips for Job Seekers
The smallest typo on your resume, cover letter or other application materials can prevent you from getting a job interview. These proofreading tips will help you make sure your documents are perfect.