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7 Tips to Avoid Résumé & Cover Letter Mistakes


1. Check Contact Information - first impressions count!


  • Verify that your name, address, phone, email, and LinkedIn URL are correct.

  • Include your name and contact information on additional pages, if applicable.


2. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread using a variety of tools.

  • Use software like Grammarly and Natural Reader to check for errors.

  • Grammarly will detect misused words, spacing, and punctuation.

  • Natural Reader reads your text to you. It highlights your content and identifies awkward sentence structure.

  • Ask a trusted friend, business associate, or a Career Professional to read your documents for clarity.

3. Target documents to the specific position.

  • Identify and demonstrate how you meet the requirements of the position.

4. Focus on Relevant Experiences

  • Show what you have achieved in previous experiences.

  • Use accomplishment statements, eg. "Implemented electronic scheduling system, reducing missed appointments by 37%."

5. Verify dates of employment, volunteer work, and education.

  • Employers check your résumé facts as part of their hiring process, be as accurate as possible.

  • Use a consistent format for your dates, eg. months and years. Use numbers to reflect your dates, this provides a uniform structure.

6. Check Layout. Documents need to be easy to read.

  • Ensure a balance of white space and text.

  • Use section headings to separate information.

  • Apply consistent font sizes for different types of text - headings and body.

  • Check hyphen sizes and line spacing are uniform throughout the document.

7. Limit Abbreviations or Acronyms.

  • Unless it is a very common abbreviation, it is best to spell it out. Take your cue from the job advertisement and company website.

  • For military members transitioning to civilian employment, translate military experience into civilian terms. Use sites like:


Originally Posted Feb. 2018

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