Proofread Your Resume with These 6 Tips
Posted June 10, 2013 & filed under Resume
Though you may be given some grace for grammatical or spelling slip ups in text messages and social media conversations, a hiring manager reading your resume is far less inclined to be so forgiving. Some are so strict that they always follow the “one and done,” rule for mistakes, discarding any resume or cover letter that shows anything less than fastidious attention to detail.
You only get one chance to impress a hiring manager with your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile, so you have to make sure your work is 100 percent, without-a-doubt perfect. For even the best writers that level of quality only comes with ample time and attention dedicated to proofreading. So below, you will find a few tips that can help you spot & eliminate issues (grammar, syntax, formatting, word choice, etc.) before they have a chance to hurt that crucial first impression.
• Reread your writing out loud: When you read your writing aloud, your mistakes are less likely to remain hidden. The sound of your voice helps you to hear your work as others would hear it and exposes grammar & syntax issues that would have otherwise slipped by unnoticed.
• Check for common mistakes: Keep an eye out for switched homonyms (words that sound alike) in your resumes and cover letters. People constantly misuse their/there/they’re, accept/except, and other words that change the entire meaning of a sentence. Don’t be one of them.
• Watch your punctuation: Double check your punctuation usage while proofreading. A misused colon, semicolon, or dash can reflect poorly on you. An extra period can suggest absentmindedness. Dedicate a separate read through just for punctuation marks.
• Choose your words wisely: If you don’t fully understand a word’s meaning, don’t use it in your resume, cover letter, or profile. An inappropriately used word in the wrong context can taint your intent and diminish your credibility.
• Double check everything. Review all figures, facts, time frames, emails, and phone numbers to avoid giving out any erroneous information. That way, you don’t have to correct yourself later. Remember, an incorrect email or phone number can sabotage an otherwise perfect application.
• Ask someone else to read your work: When you know how a sentence should read, your brain may do you an unjust favor and fill in the gap created by a missing word. That’s why you should always present your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile to a detail-oriented family member or friend before submitting it. Something you missed may be a glaring issue to your reader.
Though proofreading may be time consuming, it is absolutely essential to the success of any job application. Always take the time to review your work and learn from any previous mistakes you may have made. Remember, proofreading is not a dead art in the professional world; it might be the only thing separating your resume from the waste bin into the interview list.