You did? Or you do? #TensesMatter

 

           Recently, I was asked, “Tristan…what are some of the top issues you encounter when reviewing resumes?” I promptly responded, “This is a great blog idea!” then I walked away.

 
 

Okay, I’m lying…I responded. That conversation was actually the inspiration behind this blog post. So now I’m sure you’re wondering what mistakes I highlighted throughout that conversation with my colleague.

            The first blunder I typically run across is spelling and grammar. Your resume is your introduction to the company at which you are seeking employment. Your spelling and grammar are the equivalents of putting your best foot forward. A spelling mistake instantly catches the recruiter's eye and gives way to the assumption that you lack attention to detail.

 
 

Now we know that’s not always the case, but you’d be surprised how much you can miss even after looking over your own resume a million times. I always suggest having a friend or professional service (hint hint: LRC) review your resume before sending it to any prospective employers.

            The next thing I’m going to touch on is a lack of tailoring.

 
 

 No, we aren’t talking about your lucky interview suit (is that even a thing?). Each resume you send out should be tailored to the position you hope to be filling. This involves reviewing the job posting for keywords and including them in your resume. It also means potentially changing the transferable skill set that you highlight throughout your resume. Think about it, a person may be qualified for a Regional Supervisor position and an Officer of Diversity and Inclusion role. While they both have leadership descriptors associated with them, the skills you would highlight are drastically different.

            Last, but certainly not least, I often see the incorrect use of past and present tenses. If you didn’t catch it, this slip-up is where this blog got its name. There’s nothing that frustrates me more than the incorrect use of tenses when describing your current or previous experience. Let’s break it down to Sesame Street version why don’t we. If you no longer hold that position, all your action verbs should be in the past tense (i.e. led instead of lead, developed instead of develop, etc.). It’s as simple as that. There’s nothing worse than you breaking the space-time continuum to relive the glory days of burger flipping from high school.

 
 

            As you can see, many of these gaffes could be avoided with a little TLC for your resume (or better yet a little LRC). There is one that I haven’t touched on and that is the amount of task-based information versus value-based information in your resume. Wonder what I mean? This topic is a beast in its own right and therefore requires a deeper dive, so stay tuned for our next blog post!