This week, Free Resume Builder reached out to the professional resume editors in our network and asked them each to provide one tip—Something every job seeker should know. They responded with advice, warnings, and resume errors they see far too often. Here are some of the messages they chose to pass on.
“Please learn the difference between “your” and “you’re” and the difference between “it’s and its”. Misusing these terms might seem like a small mistake, especially if your target position isn’t directly related to writing and grammar. But these are far from small, and little flubs like these can mark you as careless, sloppy, and a poor communicator.”
“On either side of a semi-colon, there’s either an item in a list, or a phrase that can stand on its own as a complete sentence. That’s all you really need to know about the semi-colon. If in doubt, or if this rule is confusing, just use a different form of punctuation instead.”
“Don’t use too many adjectives and adverbs. You don’t need to load your verbs with descriptors if you choose the right verbs in the first place. Think carefully and find verbs that are precise, hard-hitting, accurate and memorable.”
“In your cover letter, avoid excessive use of the passive voice. Instead of saying that projects were “managed by your team”, or “launched and executed by your organization”, make your team the subject of the sentence. As in “My team executed the X project.” This will keep the life and energy in your sentences and make them easier to remember.”
Watch out for adjectives that have been turned into nouns, and nouns that have been turned into verbs, like “systematized”, “optimizationalize”, “objectificationalization”. These are also known as nominal verbs and nouns. If you find yourself relying on them, back up and find a simpler way to covey the same message.”