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How Clean Is Your Resume?

By: Ann Kelleher, President and Founder

A resume is very often the make it or break it of whether you will survive the first cut of job applicants for a desired position. When a resume screener is faced with dozens of resumes to review, her mode of operating is to look for any and all resumes she can weed out of the bunch – the more the better.  Her job is to whittle the resumes down to just a few qualified and excellent applicants.

With this in mind, how “clean” is your resume?  A clean resume does not mean free of soil.  Rather, is it free of typographical errors and misused words or incorrect verbiage?

Spell Check as a Tool

Spell check is a great tool.  Use it, and at the same time, do not abuse it.  Don’t rely on spell check alone to save you from embarrassing errors in grammar, verb tense or misused words.  Spell check isn’t going to tell you if you have used the proper word (e.g. there, their, they’re).  The handy tool can add to the errors rather than wipe the slate clean of them.  Spell check is pre-programmed and doesn’t come close to thinking and seeing in the same way that a person thinks and sees.  You have a brain that can reason.  Spell check does not.

Accuracy and Detail

A key indication of whether you are a qualified candidate who is worth inviting to the interview is how carefully you PROOFREAD your resume for accuracy, detail and correctness.  The cleanness of your resume speaks volumes about you as a prospective employee.  I’ll ask the question, again.  How clean is YOUR resume?

Proofread Strategically

Proofread, proofread, proofread your resume.  Have one or two other people with an eye for detail proofread your resume.  A couple of other strategies you can employ are to read your resume backward and to read it out loud.