In the course of carrying out a consultant engagement this week with a global technology company that targets small to medium sized communications service providers (aka regional carriers or telcos here in North America), I had occasion to help a hiring manager figure out that she needed to start recruiting to fill 6 to 8 positions right after the New Year. Aside from any reflections this might have on the state of the economy or prospects for job growth next year (hooray!), I was also forcibly reminded about the important of a clean, crisp, well-crafted resume.
Here’s how Sherry X, the manager in question, put it to me as best I can remember: “If I see a resume with a misspelling, a typo, or other obvious lack of proof-reading, I immediately toss it into the trash. If a person can’t get something that important right to try to get a job with me, I don’t want to know what kind of job they would do if I actually gave them one…” Persnickety though this approach might be, I found myself nodding when she said this because the kinds of jobs she needs to fill are for people who will be involved in managing a content production process, and indeed, such people absolutely must be persnickety, detail-oriented, and completely obsessive about process and quality control to do their jobs correctly.
That said, the same observations really do apply to any position of any kind whatsoever. If you do apply for a job, or post your resume somewhere, you really MUST get somebody (if not several somebodies) who is persnickety, detail-oriented, and hopefully also has some professional editing experience (your old English teacher) or really cares about you a lot (your Mom or Dad, spouse or significant other, and so forth) to give it an eagle-eyed review before you show it to anybody else. And make sure to eliminate all errors, and even shady grammar or usage, before you present yourself to anyone through your resume for real, and for potential work or a job.
Just for grins, I just re-read my own resume and did a spelling and grammar check (you can see it yourself if you like) and while I did find two instances of shady usage I’m pleased to say I do indeed appear to practice what I preach right here. You should definitely strive to do likewise whenever you hand over your resume to anybody else (or post it to a resume or job posting site). Otherwise, you might not like the response you get, if you’re lucky enough to get any kind of response at all!