Secrets of the Job Hunt


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Job-seekers need another pair of eyes to scan their applications for errors

Just saw this on the wires. These job seekers never surprise me anymore.

Tucson, Arizona Published: 01.15.2006
advertisementHiring managers expect applicants to submit clean résumés and cover letters. Presumably, candidates have had ample time to review them for accuracy and style. Spelling or punctuation errors in a timed skills test can be attributed to deadline pressure, but job seekers have much longer to make sure application materials are perfect.

COVER LETTER: "Driven, Dedicated and determined."

Very driven and dedicated, and it seems a little less determined.
Make good use of the time you have to check — and double-check — all aspects of your documents: grammar, punctuation, capitalization, spelling and formatting. The following individuals could have used another set of eyes before hitting "send."

COVER LETTER: "I'm a hard-wroking PR associate."
Please wrok a little harder on your proofreading.

"EXPERIENCE: Assistant for PAL (Police Activates League)."

You say activates, I say activities ...

Personal information has no place on a résumé or in a cover letter unless it relates directly to the position. Remember, as a job seeker you must demonstrate to a potential employer the value you can bring to the company through your professional experience and skills. You want to show hiring managers how you can contribute, not garner sympathy. The following candidate started off on the right foot by emphasizing his flexibility but then went too far:

COVER LETTER: "I'm willing to relocate for the right offer. I'm unattached, have no alimony, no luggage, and am starting fresh."

You'll need luggage to relocate.

"EXPERIENCE: Perfumed duties such as accounts receivable, accounts payable and data entry."

The sweet smell of success!

And, finally, when stating your work history, include only the positions in which you were employed more than four weeks, unlike this next job seeker.

"EXPERIENCE: I was only there two days, so I don't think it matters."

You're right.

● Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of the staffing firm Robert Half International Inc., is the author of "Managing Your Career For Dummies" and "Job Hunting For Dummies." For more Resumania, visit

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