Things to Check on the Cover Letter and Resume for the Final Round of Review
The final round of review is the last stage before you go on to submit your cover letter and resume to the employer. Yes, we know you’ve probably looked it over a dozen times to get to the final version, but were you reviewing the right things? Some of the silliest and smallest mistakes are often overlooked that can cost you a chance at the job opportunity. Make sure your “final round” of review includes a look over these areas:
Get the names right
I can’t tell you how many times people have sent out the email or cover letter addressed to the wrong person and/or employer. It happens all the time, especially for those who are working off one document and tweaking it each time for a different job opening. There’s nothing wrong with working with what you already have and customizing it, but you must remember to not leave any signs that it was used for another employer. Always have your information customized to the contact and employer. Even if the job posting does not specify a contact name, do your own research to find the name of the hiring manager. And lastly, get everyone’s name spelled correctly. Misspellings on the email, cover letter, or resume signals unprofessionalism.
Check your own contact information
Just as important as it is to get the employer’s contact information right, you must check over your own contact information. Even if you have not changed your address, phone number or email address, there can be a typo. Fortunately for today, many job seekers are applying for jobs via email, LinkedIn, or a job board so there should be some way to track back the applicant and make contact, but let’s not complicate matters. Basic information like this should always be error-free.
While most dates on the resume will likely go unchanged, take caution with the cover letter. It should indicate the date you send it out with your resume. There are countless instances where people use an old cover letter and may update the content, but forget about the date. Some may have not used the cover letter for several years and they wind up sending it over dated from several years ago. That’s not only embarrassing but another sign that you lack professionalism and care to detail.
Find another set of eyes to review your documents
Spellcheck and grammar check on your word processing software does not count as another set of eyes. While it can help catch some things it won’t catch it all, like knowing when to use affect or effect. (Also read: “What Spell Check Doesn’t Catch Can Hurt Your Resume.”) And even though many employers and hiring managers today will review the cover letter and resume from their computer screen or mobile device, there are also those who continue to print it out for review. In giving your documents a final review, don’t forget to print it out yourself. Check for any spacing and formatting issues. These may be minor matters, but to the employer receiving hundreds of resumes it is reason to move on to the next candidate.