A quick way to get your resume sent to the “no” pile is to submit a document that is littered with errors. Though a recruiter knows you weren’t a “sales manger” but rather a “sales manager,” it shows that you did not take the time to proofread, so what does that say about future work you will produce? When two candidates are equally qualified, the resume with more mistakes may be the one that gets cut.
If you want to make a positive impression, double- and triple-checking your resume for errors is a must. Here are a few strategies to try to ensure you’re not overlooking any mistakes:
- Use spellcheck (and grammar check).
Disclaimer: These programs are not perfect. They will not catch everything and can even make mistakes themselves. But, it can be a good way to give your resume a once-over and catch any blatant errors. Remember that spellcheck only identifies words that are spelled incorrectly – not when you mistakenly write a different word than what you meant. For instance, saying you were a strong “addiction” to the team rather than “addition” may not be flagged by spellcheck.
- Read your resume out loud.
Actually reading the words and hearing them out loud can help you to find mistakes or sections that just don’t flow well or make sense. Reading silently to yourself doesn’t always have the same effect.
- Read your resume backward.
Yes, you read that correctly. Go backward. This forces you to focus on each word as well as sentences not in the correct order. It can be easier to spot spelling or grammatical errors this way because you’re not reading what you think it should say, but rather what is actually on the page.
- Have someone else read it.
Ask a friend or family member if they’ll read through your resume for you looking for anything that may be confusing, spelled incorrectly, or missing. (It’s easy to accidentally leave out important words!) It can be especially helpful if the person does not work in your field or is not that familiar with the work you do. They tend to be more critical of what they are reading and can pick out mistakes (or ask questions) because it’s a new topic for them.
- Compare your resume to an old copy.
If you’re not sure exactly what year you started a job or what your title was, go back and look at a previous copy of your resume. This can clear up any confusion about previous jobs you’ve held, when you held them, and what you did.
- Walk away and come back later.
When you spend a long time focusing on the same document, you tend to get too absorbed. It’s hard to look at it objectively because you’ve read the same bullet points over and over again. Take a break. Walk away. Come back in a day or two and read through it again when it’s not so fresh in your mind.
Even if spelling and grammar are not your strong suit, you can still submit a polished resume during your job search. Take advantage of the tools and resources you have to find and correct any errors. Working with a professional resume writing company like Grammar Chic can also be advantageous. We’ll make sure your resume is error-free and aligns with current standards. Contact us today at (803) 831-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our resume writing packages.
I did something similar this year. Last year, I trusted high school freshmen knew what a noun was and about mid year I realized they were using vocabulary incorrectly. So this year I did a grammar pretest. The results fortified my part of speech lessons, and made me feel like there was value in them, and not just something I was breezing past! andy kaufman character tony