When you are writing your resume and cover letters, it is very easy to make mistakes just because there are so many versions and corrections (we writers deal with this, too). Even if you are a competent writer, it still is a good idea to carefully read your work once more before sending it off to be read by the people you want to impress. Here’s how to avoid some common mistakes in writing:
- Keep track of grammar when changing a sentence. If you change the noun from singular to plural, for instance, remember to change the sentence structure to match.
- Don’t rely on automated spellcheckers alone to catch mistakes. Your, you’re, their, they’re, there, two, too, and to are all words which are spelled correctly and won’t show up as an error when used in the wrong way. “Manager” was one I always misspelled as “Manger”. They are both words, so spell check never caught it. Luckily, I’m hyper diligent about checking and rechecking how I spell Manager– plus there is a little tool in MS Word that lets you auto correct things like that, so whenever I type Manger, it automatically changes it to Manager. Awesome.
- Avoid the automatic word-finishing features on your word processing program for the same reason. You want your brain to be in control.
- Look it up if you are unsure. Good spellers and good writers rely on more than their memory. A popular site that helps with more than spelling is https://www.grammarly.com because it checks grammar, spelling, word choice and style (plus, their Facebook page is informative… and snarky). It’s up to you to take the advice of the computer once the error is pointed out.
- Take a break before rereading your work. It’s like rebooting your brain and allows you to see the piece with fresh eyes. If you have been working feverishly on something, you read it with your past efforts in mind and can fool yourself.
Of course, all the resume writing tips the pros use apply. Your cover letter and resume, along with the follow-up thank you letter, are huge indicators to the potential employer of your ability and professionalism. Everybody makes mistakes — but you don’t have to leave those mistakes in your writing. It’s easy to fix a mistake once you see it, so learn how to look for it.