Landing the job of your dreams is no easy task; especially in today’s market where competition is fierce. Thus, your resume, cover letter, and personal statement are crucial elements when it comes to job hunting. The smallest typo or spelling mistake can prevent you from getting an interview.
But no need to panic! Below I will share with you a list of useful proofreading tips for you to review your assets before sending them to a potential employer.
1. Read at loud (and backward!)
The best way to make sure your writing is consistent, free of spelling mistakes and grammatically correct is by reading out loud. Usually, when we are reading out loud, we slow down and can pick up on errors easier.
Also, most content editors recommend that you read the information backward; meaning that you should to start at the bottom of the page and make your way up. By doing so, you will concentrate only on the words and can spot mistakes faster. Never trust the spellcheck software.
Today, we heavily rely on our word processor’s spellcheck. However, this type of software is far from perfect. Spellcheckers can be useful when it comes to typos and obvious mistakes. However, more often than not, they fail to review many other errors (especially when it comes to context and grammar) .
For example, one of the most common mistakes when writing a CV is misusing the word ‘your’ by confusing it with ‘you’re.’ A spellchecker will not be able to see the difference. Thus, never trust the spellcheck software! Always double-check the information before sending it out.
2. Print everything out
Proofreading a printed copy of your documents, rather than looking at them on a computer screen is highly advisable. Why? Simple, you probably have only looked at the document on a computer screen, and hence a printed version will help you see the text with a fresh set of eyes.
Furthermore, printing it out will also help you see the document exactly as the recruiter or HR personnel will see it. As a result, you can also make sure everything is formatted correctly (e.g., font size, line breaks, margins.) Favor action words (and not passive words).
When it comes to resume writing, you must choose words carefully. Thus, make sure you are favoring actions words instead of using passive words. At first, these can be hard to spot as we often use the passive voice unconsciously.
If you have trouble identifying passive words, start by looking at the verbs. Usually, verbs that include two words, instead of one, use the passive voice.
3. Check the contact details
It may seem like a no brainer, but you should always triple-check the contact information that is on your submission. Imagine if your resume was perfect for the job, but there was an error in your contact details, and the employer is not able to contact you! Thus, it is always best to check your phone number, name, and email address three times if need be.