Neglecting spelling, grammar, and contact info
Make sure you at least read your resume before sending it. I place this in the category of a "duh" tip. Most readers will think this is a useless and unnecessary reminder, but I reiterate it as I received no fewer than six comments regarding this issue when I asked my network about what makes the best and worst resumes. Clearly, people are still either misspelling words or using incorrect grammar.
My friend Theresa Junkunc noted, "Learn how to spell. It is led, not lead. Can't tell you how many times I have seen that misspelling...from many MBAs."
Mark Mauriello added, "Please -- make sure you grammar- and spell-check your resume and make sure you spell the names of companies you worked for and the towns they are located in correctly. You would not believe what I see time and again from high salary candidates as well."
Theresa and Mark are not alone. Tom MacLean advised, "Make sure to put correct contact information -- very frustrating when you can't contact people. Pretty simple, but frustratingly common."
The best lessons are learned through entertainment, so if you want to see some of the most humorous spelling mistakes that often wind up on resumes, check out this blog post, "Resume Mistakes That Keep Hiring Managers Amused But Cost You the Interview." These are simple and innocent mistakes, but you can imagine that the people making them never received a call back. In the post, Barbara Safani writes, "Think resume typos are no big deal? Last year, Accountemps, a temporary staffing firm, interviewed 150 senior executives from some of the nation's largest companies. Forty percent of the respondents said that just one typo on a resume would cause the candidate to be eliminated. Thirty-six percent said it would take just two mistakes before the resume was put in the 'no' pile."
Some of Safani's more amusing slipups include:
- Objective: Seeking a party-time position with room for advancement
- Explanation of employment gap: career break in 1999 to renovate my horse
- Cover letter: I would like to assure you that I am a hardly working person.