A typical job posting will receive an average of over 200 resumes. Now imagine being a hiring executive and having to sift through all of those. You’re almost looking for a reason to weed out candidates at that point. The problem is that many candidates do give a blatant reason in the form of typos!
A study on recruiting from 2010 found that a single typo is enough to have one in four executives immediately toss your resume in the garbage! Why? Because typos give the impression that you’re lazy; you lack attention to detail; or you don’t really care enough about their available job – and you don’t want that!
Is it possible to create an error-free resume? Absolutely – with the right process and diligent effort, that is. Use PrideStaff’s proofreading tips to help you create a resume free from typographical, grammatical and formatting errors:
Never rely on autocorrect. Though your word processing software may have a spell-checker, it’s no substitute for a discerning eye – especially where acronyms, technical terms and URLs are concerned. Furthermore, a computer won’t alert you when you’ve made a real-word typing mistake (e.g., typing “manger” instead of “manager”).
Read sentences backwards. Instead of going right to left, switch it up! Reading content backwards will allow you to focus on single words and increase the likelihood of catching a mistake that flies under that radar of spell check.
Read your resume aloud – slowly. Take your time and read your resume aloud. Focus on pronouncing each syllable of every written word and you’ll quickly find issues like missing words, incorrect tense, etc.
Examine tense. Review each piece of work and education history to ensure proper tense. All too often we find tenses that shift half way through. If you use past tense, stick with it!
Let some time pass. Before you even attempt to proofread your resume, put it away for at least a few hours. Why? To effectively spot errors, you need to read content with a fresh set of eyes. Otherwise, you may be “too close” to what you’ve written and miss otherwise glaring mistakes.
Find a good resume reference tool. Plenty of free resources are available online to provide guidance on proper resume grammar and punctuation. Do a little research to find a reliable reference tool – and then follow the rules consistently. Guard against common mistakes such as:
- Misusing hyphens
- Using incorrect or inconsistent verb tense
- Capitalizing common nouns for emphasis
- Over-using passive voice
Start at the end. Attention and focus are the best when you start a project, which means that errors toward the end of your resume are the most likely to be overlooked. Work backwards through your resume to interrupt the document’s natural flow and spot more errors.
Take a second pass, just for formatting. Once you’ve proofed for content, review the resume for formatting errors. Double-check for consistent use of:
- Bulleting (including alignment)
- Text fonts, styles and sizes
- Formatting of dates
- Dashes and spacing (between sentences and paragraphs)
Put a second set of eyes on the job. When you’re satisfied, ask a trusted friend or family member to review it as well. He may identify errors or inconsistencies you overlooked, and he might also suggest additional ways to strengthen your resume. You can also call your local PrideStaff office. We continually help candidates strengthen their resumes and would be happy to help any way we can.
Pay a professional. If you really want to protect yourself, consider paying a professional. There are several outstanding proofreading services that will help ensure typos don’t slip through all of these measures. Visit Scribendi.com, Kibin.com or just search Google for “Proofreading Services” to find a good option.
Looking for work?
PrideStaff can help ensure that you don’t just search, but succeed. With offices from coast to coast, we connect talented people like you with exceptional temporary and full-time opportunities. Contact your local PrideStaff office today to submit your error-free resume, or search jobs here.