2 Resume Mistakes… Are you guilty?

There’s tremendous benefit to using simplicity in writing when it comes to cover letters and resumes. What do I mean by simplicity in writing? Writing that reflects the way you would speak naturally, while remaining professional.

Turn-Off #1: Big Words

I prefer a common one-syllable word to a multi-syllable word (for example, “use” instead of “utilize”) because of its simplicity. With the smaller word, there’s no sense that the job seeker is trying to impress with a big mouthful that could easily have been stated with fewer and shorter words.

Of course I don’t mean you should never use words of more than one syllable. But when given a choice between a short or long word, it’s often best to use the shorter of the two.

Turn-Off #2: Thesaurus Overload

Another word-choice turn-off: obvious use of a thesaurus. Variety of words within a document is great (for example, “manage,” “supervise,” “oversee,” “coordinate”). But a resume or letter that reads like a thesaurus sounds bombastic when the variations on the word are not commonly used in the job seeker’s field and probably are not used by the job seeker himself.

In other words, it’s a turn-off when the job seeker obviously looked through a thesaurus to find words to make himself look “smart and interesting.”

How To Avoid Poor Word Choices in Your Cover Letter and Resume

Here’s one way to see if a poor word-choice has slipped into your cover letter or resume:

Ask a friend to listen to you read your resume out loud. If your friend hears you hesitate or stumble on a word, then maybe that’s an indication that you’ve used a word that’s not in your natural vocabulary, and should be changed to something that rolls off your tongue more easily. After all, what if an employer asks you a question about that statement during an interview? You’ll need to be able to respond using similar language in a natural way.

So set yourself up for success by writing a resume and cover letter that “talks” the way you do — professionally, of course.

Article written by Susan Ireland and posted by Quay Appointments.

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