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Stealth Resume Errors: Spell Check Won't Catch These Mistakes

Relying on computer spell check and grammar check to catch the errors in your resume? Not smart.

We all know they may fail to spot misused words like "affect" when you mean "effect" or "than" when you mean "then." But they also overlook bland adjectives or present-tense action verbs that should be past tense. Grammar check often calls out an accomplishment bullet as an incomplete sentence, although they're perfectly acceptable in resumes. Like it or not, there's just no substitute for the human eye when it comes to proofreading and critiquing.

From Kaboodle, here's a list of common resume errors, along with a few more that can derail your job search, if you don't find them before the employer does.

Its versus It's (and all other apostrophes)

Sales versus Sails

Would have, NOT Would of

Through versus Threw

Supposed to, NOT Suppose to

Wonder versus Wander

Their versus There versus They're

Farther versus Further

Defuse versus Diffuse

Other Common Errors

Using "I": First person is assumed in resumes. There's no need to use "I" or "my."

Action Verbs: Always begin a task, responsibility or accomplishment bullet with a past-tense action verb, unless you're describing a current job or activity.

Improper Capitalization: Only proper nouns should have their first letter capitalized. Words like network, firewall, and customer service do not begin with a capital letter, while company and brand names do. (Exception: It is acceptable to capitalize the first letters of words that refer to a corporate department, such as Investment Banking or Compliance.)

Lack of Theme or Direction: One size doesn't fit all when it comes to resumes. If the reviewer can't spot your technical qualifications right off the bat or see why you're a fit for the position, it'll end up in the reject pile.

Lackluster: You need to include the keywords from the job posting, but also to paint a picture for the reviewer by injecting colorful adjectives and descriptive phrases. Create a list of adjectives that describe your personality, style and work environments, and then use it as a cheat sheet to write a colorful resume.

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AUTHORLeslie Stevens-Huffman Insider Comment

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