Avoid Resume Mistakes With These Proofreading Tips

By Zach Seybert
In January 31, 2018

The content team here at NexGoal has written articles in the past about resumes, but most of the information has surrounded mistake avoidance or what you need to include on your resume during the job search.

Now that you’ve gotten the content of your resume squared away and have made sure that you aren’t making any careless mistakes (on your LinkedIn too!), it is time to take the next step in the process before submitting your resume in various applications – proofreading.

During the job search, and ultimately the application process, you should be tailoring each resume to the corresponding job description. With the constant tinkering of your resume, you might be making mistakes that you previously did not have, including typos, spacing issues, etc. Since your resume is one of the first things that an employer will see and use to evaluate whether or not you are a fit for the company, proofreading is a critical component when editing your resume.

Our friends over at TopResume came up with some great tips for job seekers to consider when proofreading their resumes. They are as follows:

Print It Out

It is easy to rely on tools like spell check and the thesaurus on your computer when proofreading, but there is something to be said about printing out your resume and viewing a hard copy. While it might seem primitive in this day and age, taking a pen to the paper is a tried and true way to edit and proofread. Giving your resume the “red pen treatment” makes your corrections and notes easier to find when you go back in and make the changes.

TopResume suggests even changing your resume to a different font, as sometimes it will cause your eyes to pick up on typos or grammar mistakes that you otherwise might not have (but don’t forget to change it back!).

Read It Out Loud – And Backwards

Have you ever looked at a word for so long that you begin questioning whether or not it is actually spelled correctly? If you’re just staring at your resume for a while when editing, you might begin questioning its contents. Instead, read each word out loud and listen to how it sounds. Chances are when reading something aloud if it sounds awkward, then it probably does too when reading it. Therefore, you should figure out a way to rewrite that information.

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Once you’ve gone through the resume once, TopResume wants to throw you for a loop and have you re-read the entire thing but starting at the bottom and working your way up.

Ask A Friend For Help

Having another set of eyes take a look at your resume is a good idea as well. Just like words can start to look funny after a while, staring at the same material can cause you to miss things. Ideally the person you have glance over your resume will have some idea of how to format and write, but having anyone take a look can help.

Go Beyond Spell Check

As mentioned above, sometimes our reliance on spell check and other tools takes out the human element of proofreading. Uniquely spelled words are commonly flagged as incorrect by spell check and could actually cause more errors in your resume. If you prefer the technology route, other recommended resources are: Grammarly, PaperRater and Slick Write according to the article. These tools can take the review of your resume to the next level.

Wrap Up

The job search is a competitive process. Standing out in among the crowd that has applied to the same job can be pretty difficult. Proofreading your resume can help you avoid these mistakes, and by using the four tips in this article, your resume should stand out in a positive way!

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Zach is a Digital Content and Marketing Specialist with NexGoal, who specializes in creating career transition and job search preparation content.