How to proofread your resume in the best ways
People see proofreading as something hard and actually, it may be for many of us. We learn to read fast and our brain reads the whole words at once skipping from the first to last letter. Scientists have shown that all letters between the first and last letter of the word can be all mixed up, but our brain is able to read and understand the word. Cool right? Not so much for a resume proofreading, but this article helps you with tips on how to proofread your resume.
What is actually proofreading?
Le’ts have a look at two sources:
1. Longman dictionary defines to proofread as to read through something that is written or printed in order to correct any mistakes in it (Source).
2. Wikipedia defines proofreading as the reading of a galley proof or an electronic copy of a publication to detect and correct production errors of text or art. (Source).
Simply put for our purposes proofreading is checking the written text and correct any mistakes that can be grammatical or typos. Resume proofreading is not much different in regards to normal proofreading and should be a part of your resume writing process.
Resume proofreading and resume editing is a process of reading your written resume and correcting any mistakes like grammatical or spelling errors. Your resume will be used to present yourself to the potential employer and must show why you are the best fit for the job.
You might be also asking, why would I need to proofread and edit my resume?
Some of us might think resume proofreading is not necessary and a total waste of time. We cannot be more wrong. You do need to proofread your resume.
Here are some reasons why having any typos in your resume and bad grammar may be bad for your job application:
a) Very simply said: many employers, hiring and HR people don’t like mistakes in the resumes. CareerBuilder conducted a Study of Common and Not-So-Common Resume Mistakes That Can Cost You the Job (Source). The results showed that the most common resume mistake that could lead to automatically dismissing a candidate would be a resume that has typos. Striking 58 % of the respondents agreed on this.
b) It is your responsibility to showcase yourself in the best way and show that you are the best candidate for the job position. Having typos and bad grammar in your resume doesn’t show that.
c) Typos in your resume show a lack of interest and enthusiasm from you and it doesn’t reflect a good attitude. If you are really eager to get the job, you would do your best to avoid any mistakes in your resume.
d) Some job positions and careers may require attention to details. Someone sending a resume with typos in the resume will show the lack of this skill. You will not be able to prove otherwise later.
e) Even if you have a good career history or suitable skills for the position, failing to have a clean resume without typos may come across as you being too overconfident. The resume reader might get an impression that the job position is yours without much effort and caring.
There are most likely more reasons for the need to proofread your resume and resume editing. Ask yourself would you like reading a book, newspaper and basically any text with typos? I don’t think anybody likes pausing reading and guessing the meaning of the words or sentence.
Resume proofreading and resume editing may seem hard but there are ways and strategies to make it easier. With a bit of effort, you can write your resume without unnecessary typos and resume mistakes.
What are the possible ways to proofread your resume and edit your resume?
1. Spelling checkers software
There are some applications and software to check typos in your resume. Despite these services can be very helpful, don’t really 100% on them. They are not perfect and in many cases, they cannot replace human proofreading. It might change in the future, who knows?
a) Word processors spelling checkers
Microsoft Word, Pages for Mac and many other word processors have a built-in spelling checker. These checkers are not advanced, but they help with common misspellings and some grammar. However, these checkers won’t notice wrong used word based on the meaning and sentence. These checkers provide very basic resume proofreading.
Hemingway Editor is an online free service (also a paid version available for PCs ) that can be used like a spelling checker. This spelling checker comes with more features and better functionality than the checkers in the word processors. Hemingwaypp also helps with readability grade, adverbs, finding simpler words, and passive voice. These are good functions, but again use with care and based on your specific situation. The app can be found here.
Grammarly.com is one of the best checking applications on the market is known to me at this moment. Grammarly’s algorithms are more advanced and they flag possible issues in the text. The application suggests specific corrections for grammar, spelling, wordiness, style, punctuation, and even plagiarism. The beauty of this application is that you get the reason behind the suggested correction, so you make an informed correct decision. Despite the advanced features of this application, also proofread your resume by yourself and be critical.
The application offers document checking online, or by a free browser extension or an application. This application also became a very useful tool for writers, bloggers, students and many more. Some consider it a must to have when writing. You can get a free version or paid version with more function on the Grammarly.com website.
d) Google translate
This tool might look silly for some, but it saved me from many troubles. If you speak two languages, you can translate your resume to your mother langue (especially when English is not your first language) or a different language you speak well. Once you see the translation, you can see if all the words were translated correctly. Google translate even suggests different spelling in case the website is not able to translate the text.
It might be a bit unusual, but it works. However, don’t use the translated text for translating back to your original text e.g. English to German and then German to English. You would get very funny translations. If you want to have a laugh, give it a try 🙂
2) Take a break from writing and come back to it
Writing your resume can sometimes take longer time than expected. You can try to work on your resume for hours, but this way is hardly ever beneficial. The more you work on the same task, you become more tired and tiredness is a direct road leading to more resume mistakes.
We are often also in a hurry so much that we try to do everything as quickly as possible. However, there should be no hurry in writing a good resume. It is more beneficial to get some extra time to relax and double check everything with less stress. The more stressed and in a hurry you are, the more likely you gonna make mistakes in your resume writing. Proofread your resume when you well rested.
Start working on your resume in advance in case there is a submission deadline and leave the final draft of your resume for a day or even more. Come back to it after having a good rest and also doing a different activity. You would be surprised how many resume mistakes and typos you will spot when you come back to your resume after a break.
3) Proofread your resume on a different electronic device
Opening and reading your resume on different electronic devices might help you to spot some resume mistakes and errors. Reading resume on the same screen can be tiring, so switching to a different one will give your eyes also a bit of rest.
If you are writing your resume on your computer, try to read your resume on your phone, iPad or another screen. Just changing the reading surface will give you a different point of view and change your style of reading.
4) Read it out loud
When we read silently, we read much quicker as speech is much slower. However, as we read the resume only in the head, we tend to go through the written text very quickly as we already know what is in the resume. Read your resume slowly out loud pointing to the text with a pen or your finger. Reading letter by letter like you would be reading your resume to somebody who is learning to read and speak. Slowing down will help you to focus on the individual letters, words and resume mistakes.
Some editors and proofreaders recommend proofreading your resume from back to the front backwards. Start with the last sentence, then the second last, the third last and so on. You will also focus more on grammar and structure of the sentences. It might seem like a strange way to proofread your resume, but this method is very helpful and saves a lot of unnecessary resume mistakes.
5) Print out your resume and check it on a paper
Reading your resume on an electronic device might seem enough, however printing out your resume and proofreading is very beneficial too. When you print out your resume, you can go through the document reading it slowly and pointing at single letters with a pen or pencil. In that way, you can spot mistakes more easily.
Once your resume is printed you can also check your resume design and resume style. Sometimes the final resume look might be slightly different to the one on the computer screen. You will know for sure when you see the printed resume your hands that you got the resume design you want.
6) Ask a friend, family member, teacher etc.
You can ask someone else to have a look at your resume and proofread your resume for you. Why? With more eyes, there is a higher chance to spot resume mistakes and typos.
Additionally, asking somebody else to proofread your resume and providing their option and a feedback is very helpful. These people might not know much about resume writing, but their comments might provide valuable ideas leading to a significant improvement of your resume.
7) Hire a professional proofreader or resume writer
You can always hire a professional proofreader and even a resume writer to proofread your resume. The prices can vary, but using this kind of service can help you get the job you want, so why not to invest a bit.
When you hire a professional resume writer, the person will have much more experience in resume writing and helping you to stand out with your resume. Check these services online and also reviews including testimonials. These are usually good signs to indicate the quality of provided services.
Proofreading your resume and finding resume mistakes might seem to be very difficult at first. This article showed strategies how to proofread your resume and find resume mistakes in different ways.
One might think that word editors and spelling software are the only options. Taking a break from the resume writing and also checking your resume on different electronic devices are another beneficial strategies. You can also read your resume out loud and print out your resume and check the text. You will also check the final resume design on a printed paper.
Don’t be afraid to ask someone else to proofread your resume and provide some comments. Finally, you could hire a professional proofreader or a resume writer to proofread your resume.
Select the best proofreading strategy that is the best for your situation and your resume. Using a combination of more strategies will increase the change to find resume mistakes and correct them before submitting your resume.
Do you know any other ways to proofread your resume? Share with us in the comments below.