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When applying for a new career/job it is always important to keep in mind that there are tens if not hundreds of people applying for that same position you are applying for. So it is crucial to make sure that your résumé has no grammatical errors (trust me it happens more than you think) AND it stands out from the crowd, to really catch the readers eye.
Proof reading aloud helps since the ear often catches mistakes that the eyes miss. Also moving a finger beneath each word as you proofread, which forces the eyes to read at a generally slower speed, makes it easier for your brain to analyze each word for correct spelling, punctuation and proper use.
“Don’t have C- work and expect an A+ response”
When it comes to bullet point lists it is good to remember to pay attention to punctuation and not make some items with a period, some without. This needs to be consistent throughout the document, otherwise it looks sloppy. Consistency is the key to punctuation in bullet lists. The proper way to punctuate is to use periods when each item is one or more complete sentences.
• This is one item of a bullet list. As you can see, it contains two sentences, each of which ends with a period.
• This is the second item of that same list.
But if a bullet list contains single word or simple phrase make sure to leave periods off of each item.
Put multiple spaces between each bullet points in a list so that when proof reading you can focus on one item at a time. This practice encourages you to “proofread in small bites” and concentrate on only one or two sentences at a time, so you can quickly and efficiently fix any potential grammatical errors. Once the entire document is finalized do not forget to remove the extra spaces.
“Proof reading aloud helps since the ear often catches mistakes that the eyes miss. Also moving a finger beneath each word as you proofread”
It is also a good idea to have someone else read your résumé to you. You’ll be surprised what mistakes we all miss that a friend or colleague will spot. Besides typos, friends can also reveal the impact of your resume and/or cover letter.
Print out the documents and read them aloud while your friend reads along, seeking errors and listening for weird phrasing. Pay attention to graphical elements, including headings and fonts. Make sure that the font is uniform throughout the document. After proofreading the body, focus on the headings. Check for spelling errors as well as graphical errors. Are the headings consistently capitalized? Is each word in initial caps, or are they supposed to be in full capitals? Either way, they should be consistent.
Check the cover letter to make sure it makes sense with respect towards the workplace you are applying to. For example; to say “To Whom it May Concern” even though the posted job listing might clearly list the interviewer/HR’s name and title. Failure to pay attention to details as this tells the interviewer the applicant has not bothered to format the letter correctly or personalize it any way, therefore communicating this applicant’s complete lack of attention to detail, and in short NOT MAKE YOU LOOK GOOD.
Last but not least, putting your accomplishment in your résumé will not only convey the message of “I am the right person for this position” in an easy to see/read way. But it will also make you stick out from the pack easily.
• A welder relays her dedication to quality: “Achieved a record of zero defects in all pipe-welding and duct work jobs.”
• An engineer shows how he contributed to the bottom line: “Drove $1.2 million revenue increase by deploying 200-plus software suites for company’s leading product line.”
• A minister demonstrates how he increased church participation: “Helped grow membership from 175 to 249 in one year through active involvement in community events.”
Take these tips into consideration in your résumé and I promise you will have positive feed back and possibly a new job/career. Now you are armed with the knowledge you need.
Good luck out there everyone!