Tuesday, March 16, 2010

But trust me on the sunscreen…and the proofreading

If I could offer only one tip for the future, proofreading would be it. Actually, I’d say it’s even more important than sunscreen. Follow my logic for a second, will you? Because if you don’t proof your resume, you can’t get a job. And if you can’t get a job, you won’t have any money. If you don’t have money, you can’t buy sunscreen. Makes sense, right?

It completely blows my mind that people don’t spend an adequate amount of time proofreading their resumes. I understand if proofreading isn’t your thing. But that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t ask a friend or family member to look it over. It’s common sense! Or so I thought…

A few months after I started my first job, everyone in my office was gushing about this one copywriter’s portfolio that had arrived in the mail. They built up so much hype around it that I couldn’t wait to see it. But as soon as it landed on my desk, I spotted a small, but still significant, typo sitting pretty on the first page.

So what did I do? I showed it to my boss, who immediately threw the book in the trash. Am I a jerk? Maybe. But copywriting is a competitive field and honestly, proofreading is about 85% of what we do. If you can’t even proof your own resume, you might want to rethink you career (which is exactly what my boss said in response.) But hey, I’m not a complete jerk—I anonymously e-mailed the poor guy to tell him about the error, and he really appreciated it.

A few months ago, a friend sent me a resume from one of her other friends to give my boss. He wanted to be a copywriter, too. Of course I was curious, so I started reading through his resume. Not only was it riddled with grammatical errors and a very blatant spelling error, but he also included completely irrelevant work experience, like his stints as a dog walker and sailing assistant…at the very top! I was flabbergasted.

Moral of the story: Proof your resume! And definitely make sure it includes only relevant information. In the meantime, go ahead and have a good laugh at the expense of some very amusing resume mishaps:

Resumania—Explore oodles of excerpts from real resumes. Be sure to read the talk bubbles filled with snappy little comments.

150 Funniest Resume Mistakes, Bloopers and Blunders Ever—A compilation of the best resume quotes from a variety of career websites. Some might make you wince, but most will make you laugh. One of my favorites is that someone listed “stalking, shipping and receiving” under work experience. A professional stalker? Heck yes. He’s hired!

So have you guys ever come across a terrible typo on a resume? Or a mention of completely irrelevant information that made everyone in your office laugh? Go ahead and share your stories!


Jessie said...

my fav resume mistake is when people use their personal emails like: superflygirl@... and sexyguy4445@... on there.

Come on people! get a professional email for your resume!

Christy said...

The e-mail thing is the worst! How difficult is it to sign up for a simple professional e-mail!

I had someone send me a resume for a position at my job and instead of a resume, they wrote the three or four most recent things that needed to be added to their resume and if I could just take them into consideration! How can you not even be bothered to update your resume yourself?!

I also had someone who was 27 years old and had a 4 page resume that included positions like babysitting and working retail shops when she was 16! This was someone with a Master's Degree!

Freck said...

I completely agree. I hate typos on resumes. Great post!

Patty said...

I agree completely! It's really not that hard to proofread your resume I think it's ridiculously lazy when people don't, oh gosh and the email thing too! No one wants to hire "sirdudester69" I mean come on!

Shayna said...

I think the worst resume proof reading faux pas I saw was an accountant who had several years of public accuounting experience... but must have hit "change all" in his spell check options, because the 'l' in "public" was missing... throughout the resume.

Anonymous said...

A few months ago, my boss left our job on maternity leave and decided not to return. I was the acting manager, but the company was having some difficulties and decided to look for someone with more experience to replace my boss. So, they started the interview process. I came across a resume of a potential candidate, in which she spelled "teacher" in three different ways, none of which were correct. The worst part, they hired the girl. She only lasted a month.

Ellen said...

Wow, I'm going to take another peep at my resume right now! I usually do have a friend look at my cover letters and resume before I shoot it off to someone. The dog walker thing is funny—rookie mistake!


Automotive Recruitment said...

I agree that "people don’t spend an adequate amount of time proofreading their resumes. I understand if proofreading isn’t your thing. But that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t ask a friend or family member to look it over."

The mistake I often see here is that people get someone else to proofread their resumes and the 'someone else' has about the same level of spelling, grammar, etc. as the applicant.

We refer multiple candidates to a professional resume editor because for less than half a a day's pay, their resume can stand out as the No.1 submission and phenomenally increase their chances of success with their job application.

Make Websites said...

I don't know if it qualifies as a typo, but I've seen resumes with text abbreviations, like the person might use when text messaging a friend. LOL!

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