Tuesday 27 February 2018

7 Ways to Avoid Résumé & Cover Letter Mistakes

1. Check Contact Information - first impressions count!

  • Verify that your name, address, phone, email, and LinkedIn URL are correct.
  • Include your name and contact information on additional pages, if applicable.

2. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread using a variety of tools. 

  • Use software like Grammarly and Natural Reader to check for errors.
  • Grammarly will detect misused words, spacing, and punctuation.
  • Natural Reader reads your text to you. It highlights your content and identifies awkward sentence structure.
  • Ask a trusted friend, business associate, or a Career Professional to read your documents for clarity.

3. Target documents to the specific position. 

  •  Identify and demonstrate how you meet the requirements of the position.

4. Focus on Relevant Experiences 

  • Show what you have achieved in previous experiences.
  • Use accomplishment statements, eg. "Implemented electronic scheduling system, reducing missed appointments by 37%."

5. Verify Dates of employment, volunteer work, and education.

  • Employers check your résumé facts as part of their hiring process, be as accurate as possible.
  • Use a consistent format for your dates, eg. months and years.  Use numbers to reflect your dates, this provides a uniform structure. 

6. Check Layout. Documents need to be easy to read.

  • Ensure a balance of white space and text.
  • Use section headings to separate information.
  • Apply consistent font sizes for different types of text - headings and body.
  • Check hyphen sizes and line spacing are uniform throughout the document.
7. Limit Abbreviations or Acronyms.
  • Unless it is a very common abbreviation, it is best to spell it out. Take your cue from the job advertisement and company website. 
  • For military members transitioning to civilian employment, translate military experience into civilian terms.  Use sites like: 
              o http://caface-rfacace.forces.gc.ca/mnet-oesc/web/en/cafSearch
              o https://www.mynextmove.org/vets/

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