Nobody’s Perfect. But Your Resume Should Be.

“Skilled problem-solver with exceptional attention to detale.”

Oops.

This really happened. This exact sentence was at the top of a resume I reviewed recently. The author was a strong candidate, and her writing was consistently good throughout her resume. Unfortunately, this typo would have almost certainly cost her the job. How did it happen? She had worked tirelessly for hours, writing and re-writing her resume content. That was the problem: her typo-antennae had, apparently, stopped working due to exhaustion and boredom.

Typos happen to all of us. We are not robots, and after a long day (or even before one), we make mistakes. While it’s normal to let an occasional error slip, your resume needs to be PERFECT. Not “almost perfect”, but totally spot-on. Anything less and it will end up in the recycling bin. Brutal, but true.

I’m a resume writer and editor, so my work is 100% error-free, right? Wrong. I’m human. I do have a bag of tricks that I dig into occasionally, to make sure that each resume I create or edit is ready to send out. Here are some tricks that work for me, and will work for you too.

Show it to a friend. Enlist a (detAIL-oriented) friend to review it. They will have a fresh pair of eyes and catch things that you’ll probably miss if you’re bleary-eyed after an exhaustive writing session.

Bring it to a professional. Give your resume to a resume-writing professional (like, say, me), an old coworker or boss (bonus if they are in HR), or a recruiter to review and provide feedback. It helps to have someone “in the know” look at your resume and help you craft it so it really stands out in the crowd.

Take a break. This is my personal favorite, because breaks are fun. Not only that, but they are completely worthwhile. Get up, stretch, chase your cat through the house, take a walk around the block. While breaks seem to cut into the time you need to spend on writing your resume, they make you much more efficient in the long run, and allow you to come back to your resume with a different perspective.

Good luck! Now it’s time for a brake.

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