Proofreading Your Resume
Your resume is your ambassador and speaks on your behalf. It is usually the first time a recruiter will have any exposure to you. A great resume will be optimized for applicant tracking systems, be a maximum of two-pages, and clearly showcase your qualifications and the value that you bring. A fundamental necessity for everything to work smoothly is to ensure that you have 100% accurate spelling, correct grammar, and that your resume reads well.
You would assume that spelling errors are no longer an issue today (2018) since nearly everyone uses Microsoft Word to write their resumes; however, you would be incorrect. Certainly not nearly as common as it once was, inaccurate spelling on resumes submitted to employers still occurs frequently. According to Undercover Recruiter (2016), 59% of recruiters will reject a candidate because of poor grammar or spelling errors, which indicate that a candidate is sloppy and hasn’t taken the time to accurately proofread their resume.
Even if your spell checker is accurate, common spelling errors can occur in uppercase font where the spell checker may not be reviewing. Microsoft Word has settings that allow for uppercase spell checking that should always be enabled. However, uppercase errors can still occur if a proper name is spelled wrong. Also, the spell checker won’t recognize any correctly spelled words that are used incorrectly. For example, you may have listed “personal” instead of “personnel” and relied on the spell checker to catch it but it’s still wrong.
Grammatical errors are not as easy to identify as spelling errors even with the latest grammar software available. The most common grammatical errors occur when listing job experiences for both current and previous positions. All current job descriptions should be listed in the present tense (i.e. Oversee, Manage, Lead, etc.). Previous job experiences should be listed in the past tense (i.e. Oversaw, Managed, Led, etc.). Additionally, homophones such as they’re, there, and their can be easy to confuse but will reveal your professionalism and accuracy on a resume.
Your Resume Reads Well
A strong resume will flow smoothly and be easy to read. The layout of the resume is essential and clearly defined headings/subheadings should immediately identify sections. Common errors often occur in how candidates list their companies and positions. An example that I frequently encounter is when a candidate works for the same company for many years but separates each position within the company as if it were an entirely new organization. This makes it appear to recruiters as if the candidate worked for multiple companies instead of one. In this instance, the company name and total years worked should be the main heading with different roles and years worked in each position as disparate headings. Listed below are examples of both an incorrect and correct layout for someone working at the same company at different positions the entire time.
The Best Way to Proofread
The best way to proofread a resume is to print out a hard copy and read it slowly and aloud. Most people read quickly and quietly to themselves from a computer screen where it’s easy to miss spelling/grammar errors. Reading a printed hard copy slowly and out loud is much easier to catch errors than reading it quietly to yourself. This is especially true when you take a break from working on your resume to give your eyes a rest. Another way to proofread your resume is to have someone else read it to you. This way, you can focus on just listening and hear how well it flows.
There is nothing worse than having a great resume that is fully optimized for applicant tracking systems and markets you well, which contains simple errors that effective proofreading it would have identified. A resume submitted to an employer that contains spelling and grammatical errors reflects badly on a candidate. Following these simple guidelines will ensure that your resume is free from these common blunders. Proofreading a hard copy of your resume slowly and aloud will help reinforce your professionalism to the recruiter.
Is your resume free from errors? Find out with our free resume review!