Is Your E-Learning Résumé Sabotaging Your Success?

A couple of months ago I blogged about and gave some tips on how to move from classroom to e-learning. This is Part II of the series.

I see a lot of requests from people who are interested in working with us. Some people sabotage their chances of joining the team before I ever talk to them! “How?” you ask? Personal sabotage occurs when people don’t present themselves as someone who pays attention to details–often as early as their introductory email.

Someone new to e-learning might not realize how important attention to detail is in the industry. Here are some examples of when a team member must be detailed:

  • Writers, proofreaders, and editors must use proper grammar, avoid typos, and follow company standards with regard to structure and style.
  • Quality assurance testers not only need to be able to find errors in the text, audio, and course programming, but also need to be able to explain the errors so they can be fixed.
  • Programmers need to create courses that work! Buttons need to navigate to the right place, links need to open the right document, and work needs to be checked for mistakes. Sure, we have testers who can catch the issues, but it is in everyone’s best interest to have fewer issues to catch.
  • Course narrators need to read exactly what the script says or let us know if a mistake slipped through, especially when the transcript needs to be an exact match of the audio for Section 508 guidelines.

Your résumé is a work product. When I look at a résumé, I have every reason to believe that it is representative of what that person will deliver if I hire or contract with him or her. If I see a subject-verb agreement error in the first paragraph of the résumé, I probably won’t bother going on to the second paragraph. I can safely assume I’ll be cleaning up similar messes in that person’s deliverables.

If you want to be called back by a potential employer or client, make your introductory email AND your résumé PERFECT! While I understand that nobody is perfect, your introductory email or letter and résumé MUST be! If you want a potential employer to believe you care about details, you must create introductory documents that prove it; don’t have typos, grammatical errors, and formatting inconsistencies.

Even Monster.com identifies typos and grammatical errors as being the number one mistake in résumé writing (to see the other 9, click here). I have to add that this is the number one mistake I see in the introductory email, as well!

The most common problems I see in résumés are:

  • Typos (It just shows you didn’t check your work.)
  • Spelling errors (For a list of the 100 top mispelled misspelled words in English, click here.)
  • Formatting that isn’t standardized (Heading styles, fonts, and spacing are details you want to pay attention to.)
  • Problems with subject-verb agreement (Grammar Girl has a great tip on this topic.)
  • Bullets that don’t have parallel construction (Pongo Resume has a great explanation – and it’s even about using lists in your résumé!)

Errors such as these are often overlooked because people have read their own résumés too many times and miss things that might be obvious to someone else. Here are some strategies you might want to use to perfect your résumé:

  • Find a career coach that can help you perfect your résumé.
  • Use an online résumé evaluation site.
  • Ask a friend or colleague (only someone who pays great attention to detail and grammar and who has a strong command of the English language) to edit your résumé.
  • Run a spelling and grammar checker.
  • Paste text from an email program into Microsoft Word, and run the spelling and grammar checker.
  • Remember that you can’t believe everything your spelling and grammar checker tells you.
  • Use www.grammarly.com, and have that grammar system check your text.
  • Use all of the above ideas to double- and triple-check your introductory email, cover letter, and résumé.

By the way, how did I do with spelling and grammar? I’ll send a free book from the E-Learning Uncovered series to the first person who finds a legitimate spelling, grammar, or style issue with this blog post. Just go to Contact Us on the website, and send me an email using the address on that page.

Desiree Pinder
Artisan E-Learning

5 Responses to “Is Your E-Learning Résumé Sabotaging Your Success?

  • This is great advice – but I would add one thing on the resume point. Recently I asked an intern candidate for a writing sample, and he sent a creative writing piece that was full of bad language. While his writing itself was fine, this decision made me question his judgement about appropriate behavior in the workplace. Lesson: Applying for jobs is a great time to stand out – but don’t take too many risks along the way.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I want to say “thank you” to those who participated in the editing contest. Christy from North Carolina and Kim from Michigan are our winners. Congratulations!

  • Rebecca
    5 years ago

    Thank you for the reminders! I find that the more time I spent (phone) texting, and “facebooking” the more often I make grammatical mistakes, because those forums allow me to get lazy. I especially love the tip with the grammar-checking site.

  • LaurieS
    5 years ago

    I know this post is a month old, but this is great advice. A resume has so much to say about you and so many resumes are really quite mediocre. The additional resources you listed are quite useful. I find proofreading to be a lost art in many areas which reflects poorly on the author.

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