- Avoidance of Typos/Misspellings. This characteristic should go without saying, yet in our former resume-writing service, we saw typos and misspellings with alarming frequency. Resumes with errors get filed in the trash can. Take the time to carefully write, rewrite, and edit your resume. Remember that it’s not enough to spell-check your documents because you may have used a perfectly spelled word — but it wasn’t the word you wanted. For example, a word frequently seen on resumes and cover letter is “possess,” but some job-seekers accidentally spell it “posses,” which is the plural of “posse.” Be sure to meticulously proofread your resume for misspellings and typos. Proofread your resume and cover letter. Put them down for a few hours, come back, and proofread again. Then get a friend or family member with a good eye to proof them for you.
- Contact information. Surefire resumes and cover letters do no good if the employer can’t reach you. Most college students wisely list both their campus and home addresses and phone numbers on their resumes. A surprising number of the resumes our former resume service received in omitted an e-mail address; these days, an e-mail address on your resume is a must. Don’t forget your cell phone number, if you have one. In fact, don’t overlook any way an employer could reach you.
When you’re in job-hunting mode, make sure the outgoing message on your residence-hall answering machine or voice-mail sounds professional. We’ve called many students in their dorms and gotten some pretty outrageous messages that would likely turn off employers.
A good way to ensure you have all relevant contact information on both your resume and cover letter (remember that the two could get separated) is to use the same “letterhead” on both documents, which also makes for an attractive package. It also never hurts to repeat your most important contact information in the last paragraph of your cover letter.