Are you a frequent flyer, or do you hate to fly? Despite what we sometimes see on the news, the stats say that air travel is one of the safest forms of transportation. Why? One of the biggest reasons is that every pilot must complete a pre-flight checklist to ensure the safety of their aircraft and passengers. Virtually anything that could go wrong is included on the list, and the entire thing must be checked off by the flight crew before takeoff.
But what does this have to do with your career? When I market a candidate to an apartment property, the resume is the top item in my toolbox to make that perfect match. But sometimes, the resume I receive from the candidate lacks vital information that could make the difference between not getting a call or getting the job. These types of little mistakes are easy to avoid by taking a page from the air industry and going through a pre-flight checklist right before submitting your resume.
Do you have a pre-flight resume checklist? Here are a few items to add to your checklist:
- Make sure your email address projects a professional image. If your current email address may not be strictly professional, or if you only have a business address (which you shouldn’t use to send out resumes for obvious reasons), get a new free email account through a service like Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook.com, etc. Base your new address on your name rather than anything else, such as hobbies or special interests. There was once a time when free emails were frowned upon, but now, with so many great features, most employers have free email accounts themselves!
- After creating your resume, run a spelling and grammar check. These will catch the most common mistakes and help polish your resume. Also, double check the spelling of your name and your email address – spell check may not know your name or email address and these are two of the most important items on your resume.
- Double check the rest of your contact information. What’s the point in submitting your resume if nobody can contact you?
- After the spelling and grammar check, and after manually checking your name and other vital information, have someone else review your resume. You’ll often be surprised how many items you’ll find to update just by having a second pair of eyes look over your work.
- Remember to focus your resume on this job. Don’t bring up things that aren’t relevant to this position just to pad your experience. As we discussed in part 1, quality is better than quantity. Keep your resume to a single page – two at most.
Going through these steps will help you look like a top-flight candidate to the hiring manager! I hope you enjoyed this series, and I’d love to hear your comments or questions – just post them below in the comments section.