About This Gap On Your Resume


Have a gap on your résumé? If so, you might be feeling some anxiety heading into the job interview, dreading the moment when the interview peers across the table, looks you squarely in the eye and pleasantly says, “I’m interested to hear what you were doing that explains this gap in time on your résumé.”

So there it is, out in the open; that slap in the face moment when you feel trapped between wanting to tell the truth and knowing if you do your chances of getting this job are gone. There just doesn’t seem to be a good answer to your personal situation. Well, let’s see if we might come up with some helpful suggestions.

Before we get to the content or what you’ll actually say, I urge you to deliver this particular question with confidence. Interviewers you’re no doubt aware, are well-trained to observe people’s body language and facial expressions. Whenever you are telling an outright lie or exaggerating the truth greatly, a person’s body language gives them away.

It’s highly likely that because this question is one you are uncomfortable answering, you might naturally mimic the same body language as those that lie or greatly stretch the truth, and this you want to avoid at all costs. So do your very best to speak with confidence, look the interviewer in the face as you answer the question and squash any sheepishness in your delivery.

The second thing I’d like you to remember is that times have changed. In the past, anyone with a gap in their résumé stood out more. Individuals often worked at companies for decades and there was greater pressure on people to keep working while dealing with personal problems. Things have changed though; it is more common these days to have a gap as more people are experiencing lay-offs, plant restructurings, downsizing and people themselves are just more mobile than ever. Changing jobs is much more common. So it  isn’t necessarily the huge disaster you might think it is to have a gap on a résumé.

Okay so you need a good answer. The key here is to be truthful and at the same time feel good about the answer you deliver. Coming up with a good honest answer can dramatically change the entire interview largely in part because you won’t be waiting in a heightened nervous state for this question. This is going to have a positive impact on the rest of the interview as a result.

Now honestly, to best coach you through this question, I’d need to know – (and so would anyone you are consulting with for help) the real reason for the gap. Knowing the truth helps tremendously to tailor a response that is personal, believable and deliverable. So no matter who you are working with, open up, lay it out and then with the worst on the table, you can together build an answer that you can confidently deliver in the real world.

So, not knowing your specific reason for the gap, here are some common situations: time off to raise a child, previously fired and unable to mentally cope with the experience, marriage breakdown, significant death in the family, uncertainty over career direction. Now you might have one of the above or you might have something else like jail time, caring for an ill family member, recovering from surgery or a health scare or possibly you just stopped looking altogether due to some depression or frustration.

For a number of the answers above, something could have been simultaneously going on in your life; trying to figure out what your next career move would be. There is and always has been a number of people in most people’s lives who unknowingly cause us anxiety asking us constantly what it is we are going to be; what we are going to do with our lives. While we’re busy just trying to stay afloat and cope with things in our Life, we’re just not ready to plan out the road map of our next 30 years when everyone else seems to have their own master plans perfected.

Herein could be part of our answer to the gap period; time spent figuring out what steps to take re. career direction. Could we honestly say something like, “The period in question is time I took to check what it was I really wanted to do moving forward. Rather than take a short-term job which would have robbed me of the time to thoroughly research my next move, I pulled back and put my energy into assessing myself, including my interests, skills and experience. I found that what I really want to do is __________ and after further investigation this organization emerged as a good fit for me personally. This is the reason I sit before you today.”

If this works for you, I’m glad and feel free to extract what you can. You see, an answer like the one above might actually be some of what was really going on even though it’s not the only thing that was going on. You might well have had a personal issue to walk through, but there’s nothing that says you have to share 100% of all the reasons you have a gap on your résumé. Not unless you had to swear on a bible to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth at any rate!

 

 

Let’s Clean Up That Resume


How much can be written on the subject of resumes that hasn’t been covered before? Well, it doesn’t matter and that’s not the point I want to make today. What I do want to advise or remind you of are some of the most common mistakes I see with respect to resumes; mistakes that are made daily. I tell you up front that I’m picky when it comes to critiquing resumes and that’s a good thing if it helps you submit a document that’s error-free.

Let’s get right to it then. Get out your resume and pick up a pencil or pen. As I mention things to look for, note anything that needs attention on your document and then take the time to make the necessary revisions. Here we go….

Let’s start with what ends sentences; periods. These are not necessary at the end of each line that starts with a bullet. However, whether you use them or not, the one thing that is a definite no-no is to switch between sometimes using them and sometimes not. Be consistent. Personally, I remove them altogether. Not a big deal you say? Being inconsistent reveals poor attention to detail.

As for those bullets, make sure they are aligned throughout the resume and the best style to use is the round black dot. Why? Round black dots are sharp, crisp and don’t distract the reader’s eye from actual content. Forget the cute little scissors or the small hammer. Stand out for what you actually have to say, not your ability to click on a bullet.

Watch for that single letter, ‘s’ which can suggest to a trained resume reader that you did not in fact write your own resume. While this may in fact be the case, you don’t want to advertise this as it works against your intent to come across as authentic and genuine; capable of representing and marketing yourself. Add the letter, ‘s’ at the end of a word – typically at the start of a bullet, and the language switches from 1st person (you talking about you) to 3rd person (someone else talking about you). See the difference below:

  • Work well in teams
  • Works well in teams

The first bullet is in 1st person language; the word, ‘I’ is implied at the start. In the 2nd bullet, the word implied at the start switches to, ‘she’ or ‘he’ – as if someone else is talking about you. If you’ve had someone else actually craft your resume, they may have made this error themselves but it’s up to you to pick up on this.

The next thing to look out for is the use of italics. Yep, that entire previous sentence is in italics and this is used often to draw attention to something important. Unfortunately italics isn’t recognized and read by all ATS (Automated Tracking System) software. What it can’t recognize and read gets skipped therefore, and whatever you were drawing someone’s attention to just scored you a fat zero which could be the difference between getting your resume even viewed by human eyes.

As for fonts, stick with a uniform size 12 and I’d suggest using Arial. Look at almost any companies resume guidelines page and you’ll see that size 12 is the overwhelming favourite. It’s big enough to read comfortably yet small enough that you can get what you want to say nicely contained in a tight document. Please don’t vary your font size or styles throughout the resume. It’s hard on the eyes, and while you’ll definitely stand out if you do vary your font, it won’t be in a good way.

Another common mistake is to vary the size of the spaces on your resume. Look at yours now and see if you’ve got a uniform space after each heading on your resume. Some people will have a single space sometimes and a double space at others. Same goes for spaces after job titles and before your bullets associated with that job. In this case, remove the spaces and connect the two. This makes it easier for the reader to see what goes with what, especially when they are reviewing many resumes in addition to yours.

Please pay attention to your spelling and grammar. When proofreading your document, you may actually read what you intended to write rather than what you actually put down. For this reason, proofread very slowly; slower than you would normally read it. When you do this, you brain will pick up more mistakes, and it’s always a good idea to have someone else look over that resume before you send it away. You worked hard on it so take the extra few minutes to give it a real thorough check.

Finally, pick up your resume and look at it objectively. You know what job you are applying for and you know your strengths and what qualifies you, etc. However, look at your document as if you were unfamiliar with this person. Have you made it clear what job you are even applying for? Would you be hooked in the first 5 seconds and be motivated to read on?

Look if you’re going to do a resume, do it well. These are just some of the picky small things that could damage your presentation. The good news is they are quick fixes for the most part and easy to clean up. All the best when crafting yours!

Should I Add Short-Term Experiences On My Resume?


When you have a short-term experience, you might be wondering whether to put it on your resume or not. The answer to this question isn’t a straight yes or no but rather depends greatly on a few things.

The basic question you need to ask yourself is will it be a positive or negative for the people deciding whether or not to have you in for an interview in the jobs you apply to. Now, while you can’t know for certain one way or the other, there are some key things that will give you a pretty accurate guess as to which way they’ll view the addition or omission of the experience.

First of all what was the nature of the experience itself? Was it a one-time volunteer experience such as being a helper in a local Terry Fox Walk For A Cure For Cancer fundraiser? The benefit of this experience or one like it is that it demonstrates your community involvement, your willingness to donate your time and the cause itself is one just about everyone can get behind. If you are out of work, it also shows you’ve done something productive with your time. A one day donation of your time doesn’t detract from your real goal which is finding paid employment and could translate into part of a good answer as to how you’ve been using your time since your last job in a future interview.

On the other hand, a one day volunteer experience may seem trivial and really stretching things if you try to make it out to be something bigger than what it is; especially if the experience is unrelated to the job you’re going for now. Volunteering for a few hours at a local charity car wash won’t likely win you much credit if you’re competing to get an interview for a job on a construction site. It depends also on the person deciding on who to have in for interviews doesn’t it? Do they themselves support the causes you do or see the merit in volunteering at all or not?

Be cautious about short-term jobs that end badly. Getting dismissed from a job that only lasted two months because you couldn’t meet the job requirements may be a big risk and do you more harm than good on a resume. The question, “Why did you leave your last job” could have you fumbling and revealing more than you think leading to an overall negative impression on the potential employer. I lean toward dropping the experience from the resume and eliminating the need to reveal anything about the poor ending.

Suppose however you’ve taken a seasonal contract job working in retail at the local mall; or you’re one of Santa’s elves in a photo session for Christmas. The end of the job is a foregone conclusion and has nothing to do with performance. This on a resume is often a positive as it demonstrates your ability to obtain work and the good habits that go with working (punctuality, responsibility and routine). You can make the case that this experience was one you took to pay some bills and tide you over as a short-term activity but you’ve turned to focus on your true passion; and you follow this statement by naming the position you’re applying for now.

The downside of leaving a position off your resume – volunteer or paid – is that it creates a gap. “How do I explain this gap on my resume?” is the concern you may have. Depending on the length of that gap, you could say you took some time to detach yourself from the workforce to figure out what you really want to do with your life. Yes you could have gone out and got just any old job but you decided instead your next job wasn’t going to be a job at all but rather THE job for you. Of course you have to know why this job is such a great fit.

If a job ended positively and you have good references you’re likely less concerned about short-term jobs on the resume. However, drawbacks to even good experiences could include both the salary of the job and the level of responsibility you had. If a job was 6 months or less and you were paid a minimum wage, you might be concerned about the interviewer assuming you’ll work for less. You might also think about them having a simplistic understanding of what the role you did and if you’re overselling the complexity of the job, they might wonder if you’re up to doing a job with considerable more responsibility with them.

Short-term experiences do keep you connected to people, maintain good work habits and in some cases bring in money. They can also be a way to rebuild self-worth, feel good about yourself after a negative experience and get some current experience on a resume complete with references. Therefore they can be good for the mind and the body making you more attractive to other employers.

If you’re still concerned about whether or not to include short-term experiences on your resume, have a personal, no-cost conversation with an Employment Counsellor or Job Coach.  Not only will they help you decide whether it’s in or out, but they should be able to help you with the wording on the resume and draw out the transferable skills you acquired in that experience.

 

 

Resume and LinkedIn 1st Vs. 3rd Person


You might be guilty of making a fundamental flaw on your resume or CV that’s turning off employer’s from inviting you in for an interview; thereby curtailing your chances of employment. Many of the people I help construct resumes with come to me after first having had others write their resume and they are entirely unaware of this error.

So what’s the problem? The issue has to do with the inclusion of the letter, ‘s’ at the end of words which changes the resume from first person to third person language. In other words, instead of talking about yourself on paper, it now appears that someone else is talking about you; in short, you didn’t write your own resume. So what’s the problem with this you ask? If you didn’t write your own resume, the employer still doesn’t have a sample of your written communication skills and it may appear to them to be disingenuous; a falsehood or an attempt to come across as dishonest at worse. Honesty and integrity being two key values employers see as positive traits they see you now as lacking.

Look at these two bullets to describe customer service we might see on the fictional person Brenda’s resume:

  • Ensures excellent customer service
  • Ensure excellent customer service

The first bullet is in 3rd person language because what’s presumed to be the first word before the sentence is the word, ‘Brenda’. So it reads, ‘Brenda ensures excellent customer service.” This is what someone other than Brenda herself would say about Brenda, hence the 3rd person language.

The second bullet is in 1st person language because what’s presumed to be the first word before the sentence is the word, “I”. So it reads, “I ensure excellent customer service.” This is what Brenda herself would say, hence it’s in 1st person language.

That single, ‘s’ is a blatant giveaway to a trained and skilled company representative who is going over received resumes and shortlisting those to interview and those to pass up on. Look, the resume is supposed to be your personal marketing document; an example of something you’ve produced which is an example of your best work. After all, presumably you want to get to the interview stage and get an interview, so anyone reading your resume will guess this is the best example of your writing skills because there’s a lot riding on this resume for you and you’ve taken some time to carefully craft it and go over it for mistakes.

Now I don’t always know who has put together this resume when a person brings it to me for editing or a complete overhaul. Therefore I don’t know about the education, attention to detail, grammatical skills or experience of the person who penned it. What I do know is that the person sitting before who got that person to write it for them almost always is completely oblivious to the 1st vs. 3rd person writing, and when it’s pointed out to them, it doesn’t take long for them to see my point. In fact, most people look ahead and find other examples of 3rd person language in their resume. This is good, because by explaining the two writing styles, they are empowered to note these occurrences on their own and they avoid this mistake when penning their own in the future.

I have had conversations with some local and international interviewers on this topic, and I can assure you I’m not splitting hairs over some trivial matter. In the last week, 6 of these individuals have told me outright that if they read 3rd person language on the person’s resume, they immediately wonder about the validity of the information they are reading. They figure that if someone else did the actual typing, maybe that person actually came up with all the information too, so how close is what’s on paper with the person whose name is at the top of the resume?

The impact of 3rd person language could go as far as turning off the interviewer to the point they scrap the whole resume and move to another applicant.

Now, getting a professional to sit down with you and craft a resume is still an outstanding strategy to use when you want to apply for a job; a job you really want and therefore want to make a really well-tailored resume for. It’s up to you however to refuse to accept that document that ends up being produced without actually reading it and taking ownership for what’s on it. It never ceases to amaze me when I point out errors on a resume and the person comes back with a statement like, “I didn’t do it. I had it professionally done by someone else.”

Not only does the above statement tell me that the person shouldn’t have blindly trusted the ghost resume writer, it also tells me that they don’t understand that because it is their name at the top of the resume, they are responsible for everything on the page – including the content and the grammar of the writer.

Use first person language on your LinkedIn profile too, unless of course you want to come across as not having wrote your own content or having weak grammar skills. Sometimes it’s the simple things we overlook or don’t even know about that are hurting our chances.

So if you didn’t know before, now you do.

Hate Resumes? This Is For You


So you’re looking for work or looking for a different job. That’s great news and I commend you for making a good decision to improve on your financial health; the job you are looking for will hopefully make things a whole lot better for you both in your wallet and in how you spend your time.

All that stands in your way of getting a job offer it would seem is getting to meet the people who make the hiring decisions in the places you’d like to work. The thing is of course; and it’s easy to overlook – there are a lot of other people who are also hoping to meet the people who make the hiring decisions in the same places you want to work. Not only are you applying, but so are others. In fact, it’s the case these days that employers get about 75 – 150 applications for each job they advertise. That’s a lot of people competing for their attention!

I’ve sat down with two people this week who are looking for work and they couldn’t have greater differences of opinions when it comes to the value of resumes and how to go about looking for work. Let me tell you about each of them and you’ll see two different attitudes; and I assure you both are very real people, not just made up to make a point.

The first was a man in his 20’s with an extensive criminal record who has only ever worked under the table and done some volunteer work. He’s muscular, done general labour in the construction field and even a little cooking here and there. His job ambition? Anything. His thoughts on resumes? A waste of time and useless. He’s anti-resume because quite frankly he doesn’t like the idea of making one and doesn’t have the skills required to make one; skills like keyboarding, formatting, computer skills in general. What he doesn’t like he has no patience for.

When it came to putting together his resume, he sat beside me and actually told me to just make up stuff. “You know what to put down so just say I’ve worked at some places; it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not.” He wanted one resume just to send to his Social Services Worker who strongly suggested he get one, but he wasn’t planning on using it at all, hence the lack of regard for what was on it. When completed, he sent one copy to her and walked out with none for himself – in fact he refused to take one. His plan? Go to job sites all over town and introduce himself in person until somebody would hire him.

Surprisingly, this might actually work for him. Someone will look at his muscles and plan to use him for the grunt work until he either injures himself, quits, returns to jail or they lay him off for the winter. He’ll be trapped in an entry-level, physically tough job with little chance of advancement and all the while becoming increasingly bitter and angered about his situation in life. His choice though.

The other is a woman with one child also in her 20’s. She sat down with me and said right off the top that she was here for help as she knows her resume is flawed and she wants to learn how to make it better.

First thing we did is quickly find a job she actually wanted to apply for using the internet which took us all of 4 minutes. An excellent investment in time. Next we targeted her skills and qualifications on the resume to match the job requirements for the position she wanted. Again and again as we went through her resume line by line she said things like, “I get it now, ugh, I can’t believe I made so many mistakes. I thought it was at least okay but now I see how I’ve been coming across to employers. No wonder I wasn’t getting anywhere.”

It takes a wise person to see how they’ve been making mistakes, admit those mistakes and then take the steps to eliminate making those mistakes moving forward. This woman is such a person. She not only left with a strong resume for the job she wanted to apply to, she left knowing how to change and edit that resume for any subsequent job she wanted to apply to; even if those other jobs had exactly the same title.

Look, I want you to be successful. I want you to use your time productively; not just making resume after resume without any success. I want you to make strong resumes that will get employers interested in meeting with you (interviews) so you can sell yourself in-person and then get an offer of employment. Then of course, you will no longer need to make a resume until such time as you want a promotion or different job to improve your happiness at work and your finances.

So here’s good advice for those smart enough to take it; don’t get someone to make a resume for you – get an employment professional to make one WITH you – someone who will empower you so you’ll know how to do it on your own in the future. This way, you won’t be dependent on someone every time you apply for a job. Put in the effort, pay attention and learn how to make a resume with a good attitude.

Making Resumes? Save Yourself Time


You’re not still making a single resume and then photocopying it 50 times planning on handing it out to every job you want to apply to are you? Good for you if you know better. If you are unfortunately going about your job search by doing this, I really hope you’ll stop wasting your paper and your time and start targeting each job you apply to with a uniquely made resume.

Now for those who are in fact targeting your resume to each job, I have a question for you. Have you made a single resume for each KIND of job you are applying to, and then handing this resume out for each job you apply to? You know, a standard resume for Welder jobs and a standard resume for Material Handler jobs and say a standard resume for Forklift Driver jobs? In other words, in this scenario, do you have three resumes and then depending on the job you are applying to, you simply send one of the three versions? Oh no; to coin a phrase, “You’re doing it wrong.”

Unfortunately you misinterpreted what targeting a resume to each job actually means. Targeting your resume to each job means each actual job you apply to even when the job titles may be identical. You make a resume and apply for a job, then when you find another job you want to apply to – even as I say with the identical job title, you apply with a resume that is unique from the last one you used. One job = one resume.

Most job seekers have come to accept this premise with other job seekers dig in their heels at the suggestion and argue that to use this strategy would mean far too much time making resumes and much less time actually applying for the jobs. They envision themselves handing out their resumes all over town while their competition is stuck behind a computer monitor making resumes. Surely, they say, the sheer volume of resumes they are spreading around must have better results than sending out fewer resumes even if they are more specific to the job postings; and they’d be wrong.

Here’s what I’d suggest you try. Go to a job board in some employment centre, or better yet, go online to your preferred job search website. Look for a job you are interested in and once you’ve located one, look for a second with the same title. Lay both job postings on the desk in front of you or pull them both up on the screen of your computer side by side. Now look for at the qualifications that each employer has cited as mandatory and desired. Use a highlighter or if you haven’t got one, just underline in pen the qualifications that are identical in both ads. No doubt you’ll find some words that exactly match on each and that’s great. If you made two separate resumes; one for each job posting, you’d have whatever you’ve highlighted or underlined on each resume.

However, going back to the two job ads, I’m confident you’ll find there are some qualifications that only appear on one of the two job postings – and these you didn’t highlight or underline because they are specific to one ad but don’t appear in the other. Am I right?

These key qualifications set out by each of the two employers have been identified by the employers as required skills or qualifications that are essential if you the job seeker want to get an interview. Sometimes the qualifications are close to each other, like one employer wants someone who can safely lift 40 pounds and another wants someone who can safely lift 50 pounds. If you figure these are pretty much the same and I’m just nick picking, you’d be wrong.

Don’t assume I mean you need to start from scratch with every resume you produce because I agree with you that this would be very time-consuming. Once you lay down a resume and save it, the next resume you produce could be one you produce by tweaking the first resume; making revisions rather than an entire re-write. Editing the amount of weight you can safely carry would mean changing the 4 to a 5 and the meaning from 40 pounds to 50 pounds. A single digit change on the keyboard that aligns what you offer to what the employer needs.

You’ll also find that looking at your one completed resume and a second job that you have qualifications on your resume that the second employer has not stated at all. May be you’ve got down that you’re hardworking, honest and dependable and while these are good traits, the second employer stated what they are looking for is someone with a valid driver’s licence who can read inventory orders and can work a variety of shifts.

In the above paragraph, you can see that it would be preferable to replace what is on your first resume with the things the second employer is asking for if you want to come across on paper as the better qualified person to interview.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe me or not by the way. What you should know however is that some of the people you are competing with are taking this advice and using it with every application. Could be one reason you find job searching a frustrating experience with few results if you don’t.

“Proofread My Resume Please?”


If you ask someone to proofread your resume, you have to be open and receptive to the possibility that they will find mistakes. If you’re going to argue and defend your errors instead of correcting them, you’re not only wasting the time of the person doing the proofreading, you’re also risking their willingness to provide you with honesty.

Yesterday I had two very different experiences with two different people in the drop in Employment Resource Centre where I work. The first was with a fellow who was applying for employment with the Province of Ontario; which meant there were very specific instructions on how to submit an application; not only in terms of the resume, but also with respect to his cover letter and how to apply.

This gentleman approached me with his initial resume and to be honest it was extremely poorly constructed. It contained irregular spacing, multiple fonts; the content was weak and didn’t relate to the job he was applying for at all. Had he submitted this version of his resume it wouldn’t even have got more than a glance let alone led to the offer of an interview.

During the course of what was a fairly busy morning for me personally assisting a number of people, he would make revisions based on my suggestions and then approach me again for further feedback. He did this five times, and with every presentation, he was getting closer to a stronger application; not to mention his basic understanding of how to make a resume in general was becoming stronger. It was precisely because he was genuinely appreciative of the feedback that he was offered more and more. In short, he took the advice he sought out and implemented the changes; never getting frustrated but learning from the experience and implementing the ideas he received.

Now I contrast his experience with another person who approached me much later in the day. This woman approached me and said she was applying for a job and would I like to read over her cover letter, resume and list of references. I looked at the cover letter first only because it was on top of the resume. The initial sentence began, “I am submitting my Resume…”

I stopped reading and pointed out that the capital letter ‘R’ in the word resume should be lower case not a capital, and she said to me, “Well I’m not going to change it now. I’ve gone back to this cover letter that worked for me years ago so we’ll see.” I stopped proofreading the cover letter right there and looked at the resume.

The resume wasn’t a disaster at first glance, but it was missing the most recent two years on it. When I asked about that she said, “Oh this is a resume from two years ago, I’m just sending it the way it is.” I shuffled the papers and moved to the list of references. Now this document looked fine. It only contained three names instead of a standard four, but there were titles and contact information so it looked appropriate. However, just as I was about to say it was fine, she voluntarily said, “The first guy is dead but I’m leaving him on there.”

I put all three sheets down and said, “You’re intentionally leaving a dead person on your list of references instead of replacing him with someone else who can actually be contacted and speak to your experience?” She told me that she was indeed, because – and you guessed it – it worked years ago so she was using it again.

So what’s the point of asking someone for their feedback if you aren’t open to hearing what they’ve got to say, or are going to actually implement any of the changes they recommend? I told her in summing things up that there were problems with all three documents and that she really should make some changes to them if she wanted to improve her odds of getting an interview. I added however that it didn’t appear she was ready to make any changes at this time, so I wasn’t going to get into identifying all the corrections needed.

Now ironically, the woman might get further with her resume than the fellow. There is the possibility that because he is applying for a government position, the competition will be fierce and others extremely qualified. Sheer numbers could keep him from advancing to the interview stage. The woman may get an interview as she’s applying for a job through a mutual friend. The scrutiny that each application is going under is very different. While the employer may look over her resume and have her in for an interview as a favour to her friend, the fellow has no such connection, and if he gets an interview, he earned it entirely.

Look, the bottom line is that it’s wise to ask for others to proofread your work, and both get full marks for asking. However, it’s equally essential that you stay open to the help you get and consider the advice of people who are doing you a favour. Otherwise you are wasting your time and theirs; showing little respect for the time and opinions of others.

Can you get an interview with flawed documents full of grammar and spelling errors? Sure you can; it is possible. Is it likely? No. Act on advice and improve your odds.