Attatched Please, to Seek My Document of the Job

I’ve seen alot of resumes over the years.  There are many ways that one can write one, in terms of content and formatting.  I’ve seen talented people send in horrible looking resumes, and forgiven them.  I’ve seen people list too many skills and forgiven them (sometimes).  I’ve seen resumes that were too long, or too short, and forgiven them.  There are two unforgivable sins when it comes to reading a resume for a software developer: spelling and grammar.

Let me address the HR department’s concern first, this is not an ethnocentric policy. I do get these resumes from people for whom English is not a first language,  I also get these piles of verbal garbage from people who grew up near where I grew up, probably look like, probably talk like me.  I don’t really care, because there is no excuse for a problem so easily remedied.

The real reason is that by submitting a barely understandable resume to me, you’re showing me that you are not a detail-oriented person, and if there is one thing that all talented developers are, it’s that they sweat the details.  It also says that you aren’t willing to ask for help, another quality I require for someone wishing to join my team.

I do not expect perfection, a true grammarian could probably cover this blog post in squiggles of red ink.  I do not expect you to sound like a native English speaker.  It’s pretty well known that diversity of language leads to diversity of thought, an extremely valuable attribute of a team.   I only expect that you’ve proven that you can at least make an effort.

So, how easy is it to solve this problem?  This easy:

1. Show a friend who writes well.

2. Use an online editing service.  They are cheap, probably $50-100.  You’re applying for a job that will net you thousands of dollars for even a short freelance job, potentially millions for a career position.  Make the investment.

3. If you don’t have the money for an editing service or a credit card to pay them, go to your nearest college, put a  sign up at the library that says “Wanted: English major with excellent spelling and grammar skills to edit my resume.  $100”.  You’ll have a dozen responses by the next day.  Use craigslist and you’ll have a dozen responses in 15 minutes.


  1. Yoav Shapira says:

    Right on! I could not have said it better myself.

  2. It constantly astounds me how horrible resumes are sometimes. I once had a candidate write “Strong attention to detial.” Really?! Well, I would have started with the detail of spelling “detial” correctly.