Halloween is the one time of year when it’s acceptable to scare people. But that shouldn’t include prospective employers. Be careful you don’t frighten off hiring managers with a resume or cover letter full of terrifying typos and other sinister slipups.
When you submit messy materials, you demonstrate a lack of attention to detail that can overshadow a stellar professional background. In addition to running your computer’s built-in spell-check function (which isn’t fail-safe), slowly read your documents out loud from beginning to end. You should also pass them by a mentor, relative or trusted friend to ensure they’re perfect.
Check out these eerie errors:
JOB DUTIES: “Managed the whole team, witch was a crew of 30.”
Let us guess, the uniform included black hats and broomsticks?
COVER LETTER: “After reading my letter, I would appreciate it if someone would mail me back.”
That will make for a hefty shipping charge.
“QUALIFICATIONS: I have many letters of recommendation, certificates and paper clips.”
We’re not attached to this applicant.
“QUALIFICATIONS: Adheres to cones of conduct.”
Code red! Typo alert! Typo alert!
COVER LETTER: “Are you looking to get your company or department fixed up? Wel, I no youve found the right person.”
“WORK HISTORY: My last employer fried me for no reason.”
That had to burn.
“JOB RESPONSIBILITIES: Perform do diligence.”
Not when it comes to proofreading.
“WORK EXPERIENCE: __________”
Looks like you drew a blank.
Here’s an example that underscores why you need to proofread your entire document. This job seeker’s cover letter was flawless up until the very last punctuation mark:
COVER LETTER: “In conclusion, I am responsible, self-motivated and capable of handling multiple ongoing projects?”
Why are you asking us?
Max Messmer is CEO of Robert Half International, a specialized staffing firm. Send examples to Resumania, c/o Robert Half International, 2884 Sand Hill Road, Suite 200, Menlo Park, Calif. 94025. Or, visit www.resumania.com.
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