When Confidence Backfires

News satire organization The Onion recently ran this story with the absurdly awesome title: “Man Confidently Hits ‘Send’ On Worst Job Application Company Has Ever Seen.”

Pretty hilarious, right? As long as it doesn’t happen to you.

Obviously The Onion’s article is just meant for a laugh, but it actually comes very close to the painful truth — that many resumes are sent out in a less-than-impressive state. Today’s job seekers are busy, and often desperate to get noticed (as quickly as possible, please!) Add to that the ability to apply to jobs instantly via email and it’s easy to see how some pretty sloppy stuff makes its way to hiring managers. If you have any itchy trigger finger when it comes to sending your resume out, beware — you may win the race to an employer’s inbox, but you could also be the first one headed for their virtual trashcan.

So how do you avoid getting your resume posted on the company bulletin board for public mocking — and maybe get called for an interview instead? Start by having a friend — preferably one with good proofreading skills — read your resume and cover letter. (It’s amazing what a fresh pair of eyes will catch.) Print out your documents and mark any mistakes. Read the words aloud to yourself. For some more helpful tips, check out this article in US News & World Report.

No matter what strategies you use, keep in this in mind: Confidence is great — essential, even — but when applying for jobs, a little care, patience (and proofreading!) will go a long way, too.

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