When considering punctuation and its usefulness in your resume, there are far too many items to discuss in one blog. The choices run from the simple writing of employment dates, to how to use a hyphen. With over thirty years of recruiting engineers (manufacturing, industrial, quality, process), scientists (data, life sciences, biochemist, research), systems engineers (hardware, software, network, devops) and financial/accounting professionals this recruiter has reviewed hundreds of thousands of resumes. And regardless of the profession there are common errors that have surfaced.
We will identify some of these mistakes but before we begin to write we need to reflect and reach the proper mindset. Approach the writing of your resume with a focus on making it the best thing you have ever written. Keep in mind this document will represent you. It demonstrates how you present yourself and your skills, it reflects how involved you are with your professional growth and career, and, it exemplifies how carefully you work. Yes, there are hiring managers that pay attention to these things and you need to know they will evaluate you on how this information is presented.
Below are the most common errors or irregularities found on resumes.
Decide on spelling out the month or using numerals, but not BOTH. Example: September 2018 or 9/2018
And current is not a date unless it is today’s’ date. Note: Don’t use it more than once since it is impossible to work at two different places at the same time.
Much like dates you need to decide whether to spell out the word (six) or to use the numeral (6). Either is acceptable, but inconsistency is not.
Periods are used at the end of a sentence or complete statement. When you list bullet points you are not stating a complete thought and should use a semicolon to conclude each point until the last bullet point. Use a period here because it completes the list.
Present or past tense are your two choices. Either one is acceptable but using both is not.
Use it to begin a sentence, for proper nouns like your name, the names of your past and present employer, the name of a product, and, for your job title. The capital identifies important words and overuse can slow down the reader or cause confusion and diminish the impact you are trying to create.
Use spell-check. Believe it or not some people overlook this simple idea and tool. I have seen the names of employers and towns and even colleges spelled incorrectly. You can imagine how this is received by a potential employer.
Ask for help
Have someone review your resume. If you are working with a recruiter ask for his/her help. Explain that your resume in its present form is not suitable for release to potential employers until he/she reviews and discusses with you ways to improve it. You want independent eyes that have an interest in your career to analyze and assess your resume.
There are many additional items we can discuss, but that will have to wait for a later time and another blog.