Yikes! Killer resume “Track Changes” mistake to avoid


microsoft_word_boxWant to get hired at Microsoft? Well, Ryan at the Microsoft Jobs Blog says it’s probably a good idea to customize your resume to fit your desired position. But in “Modifying Your Resume Isn’t Always the Answer,” Ryan offers a common sense warning:

Though tailoring your resume can be beneficial if you’re interested in a specific position, there is the rare occasion it can back fire. I heard of a candidate who had tailored his resume but forgot to turn off the “track changes” feature on the Word document. The recruiter missed it and when the hiring manager reviewed the resume, he felt that the candidate specifically exaggerated his skill set to fit the position. Also, if you are tweaking your resume to match a position, don’t copy and paste the job requirements into your resume. (I’ve seen it done!) This can also be a red flag for a manager, as they may think you’re only telling them what they want to hear. Write about your skills in your own words.

Misusing the “Track Changes” in Microsoft Word can lead to a hugely embarrassing situation like those Ryan described. To avoid one of these, submit a PDF file instead of a Word document (that way, you can exactly control the look and feel of the resume and you won’t expose the “guts” of the document).

If you must submit a Word document (and that’s still the most popular format), then you should hide or clean up the document’s “guts” before passing it along. Always “Accept All Changes” in the document before the last file save, and then turn the Track Changes feature off.

And while you’re at it, it’s not a bad idea to review the names of the Styles and Formatting styles to make sure there’s nothing potentially embarrassing there, and also check the Document Properties. Nobody’s name but your own should ever be listed as the Document Author, even if you’ve used a professional resume writing or editing service.