Thanks to Grace for an excellent guest post on twelve solid proofreading resume tips. Her bio is below. – Coach Wolfgang
Your resume is the first impression you make on a company and one of the most important parts of applying for a job. That means your resume should be proofread thoroughly. Often a single mistake or typo can cost you the job of your dreams, so don’t rush through this process. Mistakes in a resume can signal to a hiring manager that you are careless and not someone they want to bring into the company. Use these twelve proofreading resume tips to write a great resume!
Spellcheck your resume
Before you do anything else, make sure you have your word processor’s spellcheck function turned on. Also make sure have the setting on American English, or British English, whichev-er is applicable. If you’re in the U.S., but applying to a job in Britain then you should switch your spellchecker to British English. But don’t blindly put your trust in Spellcheck, since it can produce errors by trying to autocorrect your typing. Look over your resume for mistakes that it missed, or caused by trying to correct something.
Prepare yourself to proofread
Set yourself up for success by finding a quiet place where you can concentrate, and set aside at least an hour to proofread your resume. Do your editing while you’re alert and refreshed. If you finish writing your resume in the evening, it’s best to proofread the next morning after getting a good sleep. Use a font you can clearly read such as Calibri, Cambria, Garamond, or Helvetica. Don’t use stylized fonts like Papyrus; not only will doing this make it harder to read and edit your resume, it will also annoy the hiring manager looking at it.
Switch up your fonts
After spending a few hours working away on your resume, you’ve grown accustomed to the font you’ve been using. This is particularly true if you use this font for writing in general. Shelly Fulcher, editor at Elite Assignment Help, recommends the following:
Your familiarity with the font can make it easier for you to miss mistakes. Before you start proofreading, switch the font, this change will make it easier for you to focus on looking for errors. The more distinct the font change is, the better.
This is probably the only time when it’s useful to use Comic Sans, just don’t forget to switch back to a more professional choice before you print or submit your resume.
Get help from a friend
It’s easy to become biased towards what you’ve written and not realize that it has a poor flow or is phrased awkwardly. Sometimes all you need is a fresh pair of eyes to spot those last few mistakes, so get a friend to look at your resume before sending it off. They can also give you suggestions about flow and structure. Your friend can enable the ‘Track Changes’ function so you can see what they change. Don’t be afraid of negative feedback, it will im-prove your resume and your chances of getting an interview. Be open-minded to your friend’s proofreading resume tips!
It can feel a bit strange to reading out loud, but as long as you’re on your own then it shouldn’t be too embarrassing. Reading your resume out loud will help you pick out problems in sentence structure and wording that just sounds awkward. You’re forced to focus on how the words sound together and that means you’re more likely to catch an error. Reading silently in your head is not as effective because your brain can ‘auto-correct’ what it’s reading.
Print out your resume
You’ll have an easier time spotting and marking grammar and spelling mistakes if you print out your resume to edit. According to Kimberly Carraway, author of Transforming Your Teaching, when reading a screen your brain is more focused on skimming and searching for keywords than it is on analyzing the text and constructing meaning. Use a red pen to make your corrections; red stands out from the text more than blue or black and you’re less likely to overlook it.
Proofreading resume tips for pros
Use your finger and point at every word as you read it, you’ll be forced to think about each word. Use a ruler or blank sheet of paper to cover up the text you haven’t proofread yet to help you concentrate on what you’re reading. Start at the end of your resume and read every sentence in reverse order. Interrupting the flow this way makes it easier for you to catch errors. Look especially closely at short words like ‘it’ and ‘is’ that are often accidentally interchanged. Look over your copy for verb tense errors, make sure you’ve used the present tense for your current job. If you have included any links, click on them to make sure they are working. Double check your contact information, headings, and proper nouns. Watch out for homophones. Homophones are words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings, such as their/there, accept/except, and role/roll. Check even little details, such as the abbreviation of a state, missing these things can make you seem careless and unprofessional.
Focus on certain types of errors
Rather than reading your resume from start to finish, looking for everything, focus on one type of mistake at a time. This will be tedious and time consuming, but it also guarantees you will catch everything. Go over once for spelling, then tenses, then grammar, and so on. Also go over for accuracy, make sure the dates you list for employment are accurate, for example. If the hiring manager does a background check and notices you have made a mistake it will reflect poorly on you.
Use Online Tools to Help Write the Perfect Resume
Writing doesn’t come easily for everyone, so don’t hesitate to get some proofreading resume tips from the professionals. Here are some good resources to get you started:
- ViaWriting offers grammar guides for assistance checking over your resume for grammatical errors. Don’t take any chances with your resume, get some help from the experts.
- Check out StateofWriting for a list of online proofreading tools you can access to make sure your resume is polished and free of errors. A single missed typo can be the difference between getting the interview and getting your resume thrown in the trash!
- Don’t forget about the site you are on! Wolfgang Career Coaching has a number resume blogs filled with proofreading resume tips. There’s also a resume writing resources and tips page for you.
These helpful writing resources can improve the quality of your resume. Even an experienced writer can benefit from some extra help now and then, especially when it comes to a resume!
Edit on the go
You’ll make your proofreading process easier if you edit your resume as you go. Look over each sentence after you write it for errors. Your proofreading will take less time and the mate-rial will still be fresh in your head. Read your sentences back to yourself as you write them and rewrite it until you’re satisfied.
This advice comes from Freddie Torres, writer at UKTopWriters. You will still likely miss a few things, so don’t forget to proofread even if you think you got everything.
Consider Hiring an Editor
It’s not always necessary, but if you’re applying for a very important position, consider hiring a professional editor. By doing this you’ll be ensuring that you’re sending out the best version of your resume possible. Look for an editor with experience editing resumes for best results. If you can’t afford to hire someone, at least up your proofreading game by familiarizing yourself with and using professional proofreading symbols.
Once you’ve finished writing, take a break from it for an hour or two. If it’s late, come back to it in the morning. After working on your resume for a while your brain has become accustomed to your writing and is in a poor condition to find errors and deficiencies. Come back to it with a fresh set of eyes so you can spot the mistakes you’ve made. This is why it’s important to plan ahead to get working on your resume well before the application deadline; you don’t want to be scrambling to finish writing and editing the day it needs to be submitted.
In conclusion, your resume is the first impression you make on a hiring manager, but don’t let it be your last as well. A single mistake on your resume can cost you the job. Proofreading is a vital part of creating a solid resume, but it’s not something you can rush through and expect good results. Follow these twelve proofreading resume tips to write a great resume.
Grace Carter is a proofreader at Boomessays service. She teaches new colleagues grammar and editing techniques. Also, Grace develops writing courses at UK Writings, academic service.
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