If you google ‘how to write a resume’, you will get roughly 112,000,000 responses. It seems everyone from the Victorian Government to wikihow has an opinion on what should go into the perfect resume.
One website states that you are to include contact details, list the courses you have studied and dates of completion, employment history and your career objective. These are of course all vital and it is unlikely that anyone would omit their work history in their resume! However, in such a competitive job market it is not always WHAT you say but the WAY that you say it. That’s right – I am talking about spelling and grammar. I do not know about you, but spending an hour of your precious time learning about pronouns, verbs, apostrophes and the difference between ‘there’ and ‘their’ as a child is hardly thrilling, but unlike algebra (seriously has anyone ever used Pythagoras’ theorem since high school maths class?) it is something you will use in later life.
For fans of the Melbourne comedy circuit you may be familiar with the TV show The Agony of Modern Manners starring Sam Pang, Lawrence Mooney, Hannah Gadsby and the suchlike. A recent episode discussed pet hates in the world of grammar. What I discovered is that there are common issues that drive people up the proverbial wall – confusing ‘their’ and ‘there’ and shortening words to text speak for instance.
Brad Hoover, the CEO of ‘Grammarly’ (an online grammar checker) states that nearly 60% of mistakes on resumes are grammatical ones. 60%! The average job seeker makes more than 1.5 punctuation errors on their resume (this may not seem a lot however when you are one out of fifty job applicants this can be make or break territory) the top five of which are:
- Hyphen use (e.g. entry-level)
- Verb tense (Led vs. leads, etc.)
- Formatting issues: Make sure your fonts and bullets are the same throughout the resume.
- Education information: Bachelor’s Degree vs. Bachelor
- Careless spelling mistakes: The most commonly misspelled words were simple words such as “and” “planned” and “materials.”
Despite the red and blue wiggly lines of Microsoft Word it is easy to miss a few mistakes here and there. For one thing when reading over your resume you will likely re read what you thought you wrote rather than what is actually on the screen. When it comes to something as vital as a resume it is definitely worth taking the time to proof read it. Also ask someone else to read over it for you as they are likely to pick up things that you will miss.
If in doubt there is a lot of helpful information online. With so many resources at your fingertips employers are even less forgiving of such errors – check, check and check again!